Home > Family, spiritual disciplines > A non-Catholic view of Lent

A non-Catholic view of Lent

For those of you who are not familiar with the Church of Christ let me give you a quick definition of who we are from my perspective. This is not an all inclusive view of the church or meant to define all churches of Christ so please keep this in mind as you read. (Note: I will probably receive flack for using a big “C” in church rather than a little “c”, but we will deal with that issue later on).

The Churches of Christ are a body of autonomous Christian congregations. We have no central headquarters, CEO, or board of directors. Our congregations are lead by elders (pastors, bishops, etc.) who are responsible for the spiritual leadership of their individual congregations. My role as minister is to preach the message of God to all people. We believe that Christianity is based in the simplicity of God’s Word. We have no creed, but the Bible. Our spiritual focus and fulfillment comes from the process of being like Christ in view of the teachings of the first century church as described in the New Testament. Due to this focus, the church seeks to follow the teachings of God and not traditions that are man made. This is not to say that the Church of Christ does not have traditions that we follow, but God’s word is the utmost authority in the decision making process. With this being stated please read on.

Although I do not agree with Catholic theology, I must admit that Lent has some spiritual practices that are helpful regardless of your spiritual convictions. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics.

Many celebrate Lent by giving up something important to them for 40 days in an effort to focus on Jesus Christ better. As I was remind yesterday in church, we should be doing this everyday and not just during one specific time of the year. I agree with that thought, but I believe that at anytime that we are specially focusing in on Jesus it should be something to talk about and celebrated. There is a tendency at times when it is easy to discount what people of different faiths are doing just because it is different from our own practices. This can lead to an attitude of “I am right and they have to be wrong.”

I believe it is great that people are willing to look at their lives and say “_____________ is keeping me from spending more time with God.” In response to that revelation they choose to keep that out of their life for a set period of time. They then spend the next 40 days purposely spending more time with God because their distraction is not there. Ideally when that period of time is over they will be able to see how much closer they have become to God and either continue to keep that distraction out of their life or significantly decrease that activity. Either way they have a better relationship with Christ.

My family and I have never thought about participating in Lent before. This is mainly due to it not being taught or mentioned in our particular faith. We have decided this year that we want to give it a try. We are going to give up television for 40 days. This may seem like a tiny sacrifice, but when you are hooked on 24, Lost, and American Idol as much as we are then it will not be an easy task. We do plan on purposely spending more time in God’s word during this time period. It is our prayer that when this time is over that we will be in better communion with God and will not have to have as much entertainment in our life.

So what do you think about Lent? What are some things that you can give up over the next 40 days?

  1. Brian Nicklaus
    February 20, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    please give us regular reports. I am impressed and hope it goes well. i am not ready or willing to do that yet. although we all should on a permanent basis.

  2. Paula Harrington
    February 23, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Should we keep you updated on AI and LOST? 🙂

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