If you intend to get serious about Lent, you are aligning yourself with a spiritual and contemplative tradition that dates back more than 1,500 years! It’s a 40-day period preceding Easter Sunday in which a believer prepares by saying prayers, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repenting of sins, giving of alms, and denying oneself (giving up coffee, video games, Facebook, Starbucks, spa treatments, etc., might be an important aspect of your observance of Lent, but of course, these things vary). Lent is observed in many denominations including Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic churches. But you’re not just signing up because of nostalgia for tradition; you want to be a better version of yourself. You want to go farther or deeper or higher. You want to push up, down and forward the boundaries of your life. You are not content to be the person you now are; you want to be a growing, learning, maturing person, and you can best do this, you have decided, by studying your faith, by listening to what your faith teaches you and ultimately by being obedient to the basic tenets of the faith. These tenets, when all is said and done, come from Jesus. Here is a person who was murdered for no other reasons that he persisted in doing good and helping folks ¾ poor folks, sick people, mentally ill people, the working class. So you are now on an inward journey with Jesus. Hang on!

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