Lent at Chatham

WHAT IS LENT?

 

For centuries, Christians from many traditions have observed the season of Lent, modeled after Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness. Lent is a time of repentance and rediscovery of God’s grace.


Lent is an opportunity for both personal and communal renewal and growth. Individual believers are encouraged to withdraw into the wilderness with Jesus by taking on a temporary limitation and adding spiritual practices to foster a deeper communion with God. It is a chance to take stock of your spiritual condition in light of the gospel and to seek a greater influence of the Holy Spirit. Corporately, it is a time of preparation for remembering Christ’s suffering and death during Holy Week and celebrating his victorious resurrection at Easter.



WHEN IS LENT?

 

Our observation of the 2022 Lent season begins on Ash Wednesday, March 2 and ends on Easter Sunday morning, April 17.


HOW WILL WE OBSERVE LENT AT CHATHAM?

 

 Friday Fasting & Lenten Prayer Nights
Fasting is encouraged during Lent, and we will observe some special opportunities to join together on select Fridays to pray and to break the fast together.

For the first Friday in Lent on March 4, we will gather in the Fellowship Room upstairs at 7 p.m. for some introductory teaching on the season and a time of prayer.

Then, for four Fridays beginning March 18, we will meet in the Activity Center at 6 p.m. to break our Friday fast together with a simple meal followed by a time of prayer.

 Pray for the Lou
Chatham will participate in Pray for the Lou Kick-Off Week, a regional prayer event with many opportunities to join in prayer with other St. Louis area churches and believers. This will include a prayer rally at Chatham on Tuesday, March 8, and a prayer walk on Saturday morning, March 12. See details on our Pray for the Lou page.


 Adult Sunday School

During our regular Sunday School time at 9 a.m., we will gather for two special times of Lenten prayer on March 6 and April 10.


From March13 to April 3, we'll have a class focused on the ministry of mercy. This class and our prayer gatherings will meet in the Worship Center.


 Sunday Sermon Series
Our Lenten sermon series "Signs of Life" will focus on the seven miraculous signs performed by Jesus in the Gospel of John.


 Holy Week
Our Holy Week services will include Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.


LENTEN SCHEDULE

  • Ash Wednesday, March 2 - Lent begins
  • Friday, March 4 - Lenten Prayer Night, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 6 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 8 - Pray for the Lou Prayer Rally at Chatham, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 12 - Pray for the Lou Prayer Walk, 9:45 a.m.
  • Sunday, March 13 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 18 - Lenten Meal & Prayer, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 20 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 25 - Lenten Meal & Prayer, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 27 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, April 1 - Lenten Meal & Prayer, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 3 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, April 8 - Lenten Meal & Prayer, 6 p.m.

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

  • Palm Sunday, April 10 - Sunday School, 9 a.m. / Worship, 10:30 a.m.
  • Good Friday, April 15 - Worship, 7 p.m.
  • Easter Sunday, April 17 - Worship, 10:30 a.m.



WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING LENT?

 

It is critical to keep in mind that the point of Lent is not to observe rituals or take part in programs. The goal is to pursue a deeper relationship with God. The main question is: What will help you get closer to the Lord? Consider the following three areas:


 Give up. Commit to the biblical discipline of fasting. In its most basic and common form, fasting is total abstinence from food. Fasting should never become a means of manipulating God into giving us what we want, like a hunger strike. Instead, it is an expression of our humility and dependence on God. If your health allows it, consider fasting every Friday during Lent (intentionally skipping one, two or all three meals that day). Remember to stay hydrated. You can also do a partial fast by giving up certain things that exert an influence over us or seem particularly important. Consider fasting from TV, social media, video games, or other forms of entertainment; coffee, soda, or other stimulants; meat or sweets; alcohol; sex; sleep. Partial fasts sharpen our spiritual appetite and make us more aware of God’s presence and power.


 Give in. Commit to additional spiritual disciplines. You can do something with your family or as a small group, or participate in Friday night prayer meetings at church. You can follow a daily Lenten devotional; increase your Bible reading time; add confession, singing, intercession, or some other kind of prayer to your regular time with God; or go on prayer walks. Consider focusing on a particular area of growth like humility or gracious speech.


 Give away. Commit to generous giving of your money, time, and energy for the benefit of others. Consider giving financially to missions, benevolence, someone in need, or the church. Look for opportunities to serve someone by giving them your time or using your skills for their good. We'll have another opportunity this season to support students in need at Armstrong Elementary.


Additionally, to help us remember that our sacrifices and disciplines are a response to Christ’s finished work on our behalf, use Sundays as feast days to relax your Lenten commitments.



WHAT RESOURCES CAN I USE?


Daily Devotional:
Gospel in Life, a ministry of Tim Keller, offers a free 40-Day devotional by e-mail for which you can sign up here.

 
John Piper's Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die is available to download as a free e-book or for purchase in multiple formats.


On Lent:

 Aaron Damiani, The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent (Chicago: Moody, 2017)


On Fasting:
 John Piper, A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer (Wheaton: Crossway, 1997). Free download at desiringgod.org/books/a-hunger-for-god


On Media Fasting:
 Sarah Gregor, Going Dark for More of His Light: Prepping for a 40 Day Social Media Fast article, miniministry.com

Additional Devotional Options:
 Nancy Guthrie, ed. Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009)

 Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings (New York: Crossroad, 1992)

 Paul Tripp, Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional (Wheaton: Crossway, 2021)