We at River City Spokane desire for those that God has brought to us to shepherd, care for, and disciple, to see them focus on their sin, embrace the cross, and to prize Jesus as their supreme treasure. And one of the ways we feel this can be accomplished is by leading them through the pilgrimage of the cross and savoring the gift of the gospel. This is known as Lent. The word lent means “spring.” During the time of spring everything that has went to sleep or died comes back to life. It displays the truth of the gospel that resurrection has come and will come. Lent is a time when we lead people to see what it took God to love us and save us. Every time we see the leaves come back, or flowers bloom, or the season change things we should see the Lord remind us, “I resurrected for you and I have resurrected you. Your seasons in life are changing because I am changing you. Follow me and see me. Adore and treasure me. Do not forget my cross, your cross. Do not forget my resurrection, your resurrection.”
The purpose of lent is for the follower of Jesus to witness and behold the bloody Savior dying for their sins and adoption into the family, and to behold and cling to the resurrected Savior who alone can save them.
We believe that people are changed and transformed when they see the glory of God in the face of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6). Together we can help each other see the reality of sin, the purpose of the cross, why the good news is good, and trust in our Savior more and more each day of our lives. We can do this by living life together and helping each other brew on the truths of the death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Lent is a time to position our hearts, mind, and soul to hunger for God more.
Lent is done to help us gaze upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Lent is 40 days. Beginning on March 1st. Let us pilgrimage to the story and passion of Jesus. Let us not let the mundane of life cause our hearts for the gospel sour. Let us not miss the depth of the need for the life, death, and resurrection of the Rescuer. Let us not forget that Jesus is the Hero of our story. Let us not forget that He is Lord and Master of all things. Let us not forget that He is God with us and for us. Let us not belittle our need for him every second of the day. Let us not push aside our brokenness. Let us not put a mask on and hide, but let us admit, confess, and run to Jesus.
Let us walk to the wilderness in our hearts and souls to see that naturally we hold on to lesser things, and see Jesus show us the greater things of the gospel.
Lent reminds us that the gospel is for the followers of Jesus just as much as it is for the lost.
Jesus took the pilgrimage to the cross so that we could have the gospel.
How to Use Lent?
Lent can be done in multiple ways.
The Christian walk is not a lone-ranger walk. In our context, it is easy to get lost in the cultural expectations of Easter and miss out on the meaning. Lent is a reminder that the resurrection only occurred after the crucifixion. Rather than skipping over the ministry and crucifixion of Christ, Lent is a season to prepare ourselves for the joy of Resurrection Sunday as we enter the sorrow and pain which preceded it.
There are many church traditions that can be used to help make the Lenten season meaningful. Candles can be used. Unlike Advent, as you light a candle each week building up to Christmas, for Lent you light all the candles each day and blow them out leading to Good Friday (the day the crucifixion happened). This represents the Savior heading straight to the darkness and how dark our sin actually is. Devotionals can be used (which we put a link to one) to help our minds focus on what really matters. Taking communion daily as individual or with family, being used to help us remember him. Reading through one of the gospels during the 40 days is highly encouraged to drench ourselves in God’s word for it is God’s way of revealing the truths of the gospel to us. Meet weekly with your gospel community to walk through this time together. Fast from things that distract you from hungering for more of God in your life and walk. Fasting from food, movies, television, social networks and internet, caffeine and sweets, radio, news, and music, video games, and even shopping for non-essentials can be used by God to cause us to grow deeper in Jesus and to treasure Him above all things.
Pray and see how Jesus would have to make the most of this Lent season.
Whatever route you choose, pray that God would used it to cause your hearts, minds, and souls to pilgrimage to the cross and see the gift of the gospel in a fresh and reviving way, and share what the Jesus is doing in your gospel communities so that others can be blessed and others can bless you by how God is changing them.
Brewing Thoughts on Scripture
Week 00- Lent: Origins and Purpose by Kerr Howell Jr.
Week 01: The Greatest Need (Psalm 51:1-17) by Thomas Lambert
Week 02: Wine and Souls (John 2:1-11) ) by Kerr Howell Jr.
Week 03: The Hike (John 3:1-21) by Tim Seo
Week 04: Dying For a Drink (John 4:5-42) by Colten Lindberg
Week 05: Conceiving New Creation (Luke 1:26-38) by Colten Lindberg
Week 06: Born Blind (John 9:1-41) by James Bishop
Week 07: Empty Tomb and Open Gates (Psalm 118:1-2; 19-29) by Kerr Howell Jr.