Lent and the Church Year

Lent – The word “Lent” is from middle English- length. It recognizes the lengthening of the days (northern hemisphere) moving toward yearly the remembrance of the ministry of Jesus leading to the cross.  For centuries Christians have used this period to reflect upon the sufferings and ultimately the saving works of God in Jesus Christ through his death on the cross.

Why do we mark the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost?

A short answer is that although these are not specifically commanded in Scripture, we are commanded to remember God’s mighty deeds. These are commanded in places such as Psalms 71, 77, 106, 145, 150. The church year is a way of remembering God’s mighty saving deeds in Jesus Christ. God clearly commanded Israel to remember the exodus. The exodus is symbolic of Jesus delivering us out of our slavery to sin. It is fitting that we do similarly. This is the way God seems to interact with his people. The seasons of God’s grace should be more primary to us than the months and seasons of the mundane calendar. Just as Sunday for us is the Lord’s Day not ‘the day of the Sun.” Additionally, we still date many of our documents B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D.- Anno Domini (the year of our Lord) instead of the new nomenclature B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era)