By Shawn Kennedy

Lent is a liturgical season embraced by many followers of Jesus around the world. It is a tradition dedicated to help prepare hearts and minds for the joy of the resurrection and power of the gospel. As Geoff Ashley says, “It is a time for fasting and self-denial, though not for denial itself. It is a period to empty ourselves of lesser things so that we might be filled with the greater things of the gospel.”

The history itself is often disputed and sometimes controversial. What we do know is that by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. the church recognized Lent as a forty day time time period leading up to Easter Sunday.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday as a time to humbly remember that we are created by God and for God. There are many churches that mark the beginning of Ash Wednesday by placing literal ash on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. The cross represents a time of denial, repentance and humility. This practice and posture seems to go back to the late-eleventh century.

If you are interested in finding out more information you might enjoy this article by Relevant Magazine. If you would like to personally take the journey of lent consider downloading the guide below put together by Village Church. Remember to keep in mind that traditions exists for the purpose of pointing us toward a deeper relationship with Christ.