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Lending A Hand To Help You Better Understand Lent

I know we're not supposed to make much about "experiences" per se as Christians (making sure we don't put our trust in them for anything), but last year was the very first year that I went through the season of Lent as a Confessional Lutheran, which was actually pretty powerful for me since it was also the first time that I somewhat understood what Lent is all about.

I gotta admit though -- there's still some confusion this year since my "Old Adam" is constantly trying to distort the true meaning by trying to get me to think that it's all about ME and MY SACRIFICE as opposed to JESUS CHRIST and HIS SACRIFICE.

Rather than write and publish an entirely new piece on the subject today, I thought I'd simply reference the old one I wrote last year since I tried to make it a definitive, stand alone resource to help others who are new to the topic too.

Ash Wednesday And Lent ("Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down!")

Now, that doesn't mean that there's a shortage of "fresh" material out there.

I saw this from Rev. Eric J. Brown and thought it was worth sharing with you...

What's The Real Focus Of Lent? 
So, now we are coming to Lent -- so what is it's point, what is its purpose? Is it about suffering? Is it about self-denial? Is it about making sure we hear the Word more often (yea midweek services!)? I hear a lot of things about Lent, and most of the time I think they hit on tangential issues. Here is what I would submit -- our seasons in the Church have themes. Advent is about Christ's coming. Christmas is about the incarnation, that God becomes Man for us. Epiphany is about Christ revealing that He is True God. And Lent -- Lent is about Jesus. Lent is the season where we focus most clearly on Jesus taking the battle to Satan -- Jesus fighting against sin and death and the Devil. Think on the upcoming readings -- His temptation, He heals, He casts out demons, He takes on false doctrine, He fights against hunger and hardship... and He dies. This is all saying, "Look at Jesus take the battle to Satan." This is, as Luther would have us sing, "But for us fights the valiant one." Lent is the battle season -- it is the Son of God going forth to war for you. That's the real focus of Lent.

Short, sweet, and sound Biblical truth right there!

Then there's also Pastor Jordan Cooper's "Five Reasons To Observe Lent" if you're still hungry for more (pun intended!).

Anyway, I hope that all of that was helpful to you. It was my small contribution in lending a hand to help you better understand Lent.

In a Lutheran layman's term, I'm learning to love Ash Wednesday and Lent since it's prompting me to proclaim my thanks to God, for we have a Savior, our risen Lord Jesus Christ, who has already endured God's wrath and judgment for us!

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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