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
Watch for more details.


Sunday Sermon Series
Details to come.

Pray for the Lou
Chatham will also 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. At Chatham, this time will include a prayer rally on Tuesday, March 8, and prayer walking neighborhoods and business areas near Chatham on Saturday morning, March 12. See more details on our Pray for the Lou page.


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



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 an 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:
We recommend John Piper's Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die as a daily devotional during Lent. This resource 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:
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings (New York: Crossroad, 1992)

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

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