Lent begins tomorrow, Wednesday March 9, and we’ve partnered with our friends at YouVersion to create a free daily devotional to help you focus on Christ throughout this season. You can read this plan on the web or on virtually any smartphone platform through their suite of free apps for mobile devices.
This devotional is adapted from Holy Bible: Mosaic, giving daily Scripture readings and additional devotional content gleaned from the quotes, prayers, and essays that make Mosaic such a unique devotional Bible. Additionally, on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the 6 weeks of Lent, you will be reading straight through the entire Gospel of Mark.
If you aren’t familiar with Lent, here is an excerpt from the first day of the reading plan that gives an introduction to why the spiritual practice of following the church calendar can be a great help in your journey of faith:
What is Lent?
For some Christians, Lent has always been a part of their spiritual life, but for others it is unfamiliar. Lent is a season leading up to Easter, a time when Christians have historically prepared their hearts for Easter with reflection, repentance, and prayer. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and proceeds for forty days, excluding Sundays, and culminating with Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Since Sundays are weekly celebrations of the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of the forty-day season, which focuses on introspection, self examination, and repentance. Many Christians choose to celebrate a fast throughout the season of Lent, but the focus is not on depriving themselves of something as much as it is on devoting themselves to God and his purposes in the world.
Lent is an important season of the church year. The church year is an excellent way to help focus our attention on God with the way we organize our time. Rather than following the solar calendar’s more familiar structure, organized by the rhythms of nature, the church calendar is organized around God and his activity in the world. The church calendar follows six seasons of varying length: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Each of these seasons have different focuses: Advent focuses on the anticipation of God’s coming into the world, both in the incarnation and in Christ’s return. Christmas focuses on the birth of Christ. Epiphany focuses on the light of God’s presence shining in the world. Lent focuses on human sin and God’s gracious solution. Easter focuses on resurrection life. Pentecost focuses on the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit in the world. The annual rhythm of these seasons can have a powerful effect on personal and communal spiritual growth.
If you enjoy this Lent devotional, check out Holy Bible: Mosaic, a print Bible that includes everything you will read in this devotional plus full color artwork and readings for every week of the Church year.
Already more than 800 people have signed up to complete this reading plan as we journey together through the season of Lent. Will you join with me and all those other people on this transformative journey?