This Wednesday, March 6th, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is the 40 days (not including Sundays- these are considered times of joy and celebration, ‘mini-Easters’) leading up to Easter representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness prior to His public ministry. As a sign of repentance and dedication, Christians often choose to either fast from certain foods or abstain from certain activities during these 6 weeks.
At StoneBridge we have observed Lent for the past several years with a corporate fast and with focused corporate prayer. This year we will focus on praying for someone we know who needs Easter and for breakthrough in physical healing.
One word about fasting- it’s not magic. It’s not a technique we use to get God’s attention or leverage Him to act. Fasting is usually either an expression of repentance or an expression of desire. During Lent, we fast as a tangible sign of our personal desire (our hunger) to know Jesus more and our corporate desire to see His Kingdom come more fully in our community. As a side ‘benefit’- self denial is rarely required in our culture of affluence, but is something God asks of us if we are going to follow Jesus daily (deny yourself, take up your cross, etc.) Fasting is a discipline of self-denial, of saying ‘no’ to your appetites, and fasting over time- like say, 6 weeks in the Spring, strengthens our ability to deny ourselves and look towards Eternity. (That was actually 136 words.)
Options for participation:
- I would like everyone who is physically able to fast in some way. You can choose to give up certain foods for the duration of Lent (chocolate, desserts, coffee, asparagus), to skip certain meals during Lent (breakfast on Mondays), or to fast for certain days of Lent.
- Some people are physically unable to fast. Some people are sissies. For both groups, abstaining is a way to participate in Lent that doesn’t involve food. People often choose to give up some activity (social media, dusting, TV) for these 6 weeks in order to spend more time focused on God and others.
- Corporate Prayer. We will have ‘drop-in’ corporate prayer every Tuesday during Lent from 6.30-7.30am. Music will be playing softly from 6:30-7:00 with Scripture rotating on the screens for meditation. Communion will be available each week along with the opportunity to receive prayer if so desired. From 7:00-7:30 we will join together to pray for salvation and healing for others.
- Each week we will post several devotions to encourage you along the way.
- Join us for our Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, March 6th from 6:30-7:30pm and our Good Friday Service on Friday, April 19th from 6:30-7:30pm. Please sign up below for childcare for the Ash Wednesday Service if you plan to attend.
Each year we have seen God work during Lent and I anticipate this year will be no different. Can’t wait to hear the reports of how God moves in your life and how God moves in our city.