The Lenten Journey
What is Lent?
If January 1st taught us one thing, it’s that all our problems from one year don’t disappear with the recycling of last year’s calendar. Here we are, another month into the year, still facing the pain of individual, communal, national and global suffering. We ache for difficulties to end. We long for our tears to be wiped away. We’re desperate for change. And yet, as followers of Jesus, we know our stories are connected to a deeper, truer story. A story where our hopes aren’t dashed on the rocks of a new year of disappointments. A story where God has walked the road of suffering alongside us—and instead of us—in order to secure for us a hope that cannot be ruined by a virus, politician, systemic evil, individual or corporate sin, or even death itself.
The season of Lent offers us an invitation to us to re-engage with this precious story in our physical bodies, in real time, by journeying alongside the Suffering Servant Jesus Christ and arriving at the breathtaking hope of the God of Easter Sunday. As Scott Sauls describes, this is a special season where God’s people are empowered to turn again to “the rich benefits we receive through Christ’s humiliation, death, and burial,” and also of God’s “dignifying invitation to properly lament the wrong that is in the world and the wrong that is within us.”
Historically, in the Church, Lent has been marked by self-examination, fasting, and praying, as we reflect honestly on the reality of our sin and need for a Savior. Those unfamiliar with Lent might associate this season with “doing penance” as if to try to earn God’s favor, but this is the furthest thing from the truth. Lent actually invites us to journey deeper into the Gospel Story. It’s these 40 days of wilderness darkness that prepare us for the punctuation of a radiant resurrection joy.
When is Lent?
February 17 (Ash Wednesday)–April 3 (Holy Saturday)
How are we engaging with Lent?
As we seek to explore Lent together, we’re inviting you to join us in some Lenten practices and Lenten events during this season. Read below for more information on how we’re doing this.
We are inviting those who are able to fast corporately as a church from food on Wednesdays (even just one or two meals) and fast individually from something else (examples: social media, alcohol, sugar, etc.) in order to engage more thoughtfully with God. The goal here is to direct our physical longings toward an increased hunger for God. Learn more at the link below.
Wednesdays through March 31 • 12–12:45PM • ONLINE & IN-PERSON
We will be gathering for corporate prayer during the lunch hour during all six Wednesdays of Lent. Join us in-person (at Asterisk) or online on Instagram Live.
For those wanting daily readings as a means of engaging the season, we will be reading through Paul Tripp’s 40-day Lenten devotional, Journey To The Cross. Copies are available at the Park Church Highlands building for $10 each, or you can order a copy online (Amazon has quicker delivery, but Christianbook has a better price).
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 • 6:30AM IN-PERSON; 6:30PM ONLINE & IN-PERSON
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent. It’s a day to stare at death in the face and acknowledge our mortality, to be honest about our sin and need for a Savior, and to joyfully remember we are not those without hope because of the work of Jesus!
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
During Holy Week (the final week leading up to Easter), some Gospel Communities gather for Maundy Thursday, celebrating the night that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, gave final instructions to His disciples, and washed His disciples’ feet. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin for command or mandate responding to Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another…” (John 13:34). We will be send out a resource guide to our Gospel Community leaders as we get closer to this day.
FRIDAY, APRIL 2 • 4:30, 6, & 7:30pm In-Person at the Highlands Building; 6pm Streamed Online
We’ll allow the Scriptures to take us to the scene of our Lord’s betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial, setting us up for a deep celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
The day known as “Holy Saturday,” which lands between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is often overlooked. What might have the disciples experienced on this day, and what do we have to learn from this day of heightened tension, confusion, and grief? While we won’t have any official events, we will be sending out a Holy Saturday guide to help individuals lead themselves through a meditative exercise to engage with the story of Jesus more fully.