Lent is one of the most ancient observances of the Christian church. It occurs during the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, and spans some 40 weekdays in addition to the 6 Sundays of Lent. The name is derived from the German and old English words for “length,” referring to the springtime lengthening of daylight.

Lent is a time for Christians to prepare themselves personally for the proper observance of the passion of Christ during Holy Week, the crucifixion, and Easter. Preparation for those events is a time for believers to confess their sinfulness, reflect on the suffering of Christ, accept God’s loving forgiveness, and rejoice in the fact of the resurrection.

The words of the prophet Isaiah express very clearly the attitude of Lent: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). We have the opportunity to grow in our faith during the Lenten season by recognizing that we are all stained with sin, realizing that Christ takes upon himself the punishment for our sin through his suffering, and understanding that the resurrection validates this pattern of suffering service.

With thanks to all who participated in the production of this Lenten Devotional Guide we invite you to a time of growing faith and dedication as we prepare our lives to follow more closely in the way of Jesus Christ.

Tom Graves