March 5: The Cost of Following Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22)
March 12: Listen to Jesus (Matthew 5:1)
March 19: Watch Jesus Do Miracles (Matthew 8:2)
March 26: Act Like Jesus (Matthew 10:1)
April 2: Follow Jesus to Jerusalem (Matthew 16:24-26)
April 9: Follow Jesus to the Cross (Matthew 23:37-39; 26:39)
April 16: Follow Jesus in the Resurrection (Matthew 28:18-20)
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter like Advent is before Christmas. The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. Follow along with our Lenten Reading Calendar.
During the six weeks of self-examination and reflection, Christians who observe Lent typically make a commitment to fast, or to give up something. Some Christians also take on a Lenten discipline, such as reading the Bible and spending more time in prayer to draw near to God. The goal is to strengthen the faith and spiritual disciplines of the observer and develop a closer relationship with God.
March 1, Ash Wednesday, marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter. (Technically 46, as Sundays are not included in the count.) The significance of the 40-day period of Lent is based on two episodes of spiritual testing in the Bible: the 40 years of wilderness wandering by the Israelites and the Temptation of Jesus after he spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness.