What Is Lent and Why Do Christians Celebrate Lent?

what is lent

 

Lent can be confusing for kids (and adults!). While the secular world might see Lent as a time to go on a diet, Lent is about much more than giving up sweets or sodas for 40 days. It’s an opportunity to focus our attention on Christ and His sacrifice in the days leading up to Easter. Although it began as a Roman Catholic tradition, Christians of various denominations participate in Lent.

Below, we’ve rounded up a few posts on Lent that will help you understand its history. They might give you ideas for incorporating Lenten traditions in your family.

What Is Lent?

Lent is not in the Bible, but it’s a tradition that began with the early Church. Learn all about the origins of Lent and why people fast during these 40 days. Discover what Lent was like for early Christians as well as how modern Christians celebrate it.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Lent 

How do we teach our kids that Lent is about more than giving up candy for 40 days? How do we help them prepare for the somberness of Good Friday and the celebration of the Resurrection? Find ways to talk to your kids about Lent, ideas for practicing Lent as a family, and resources for Lent.

Why Do We Give Up Things for Lent? 

We know there’s nothing we can do to earn our salvation, but giving something up for Lent can be a way to focus on living sacrificially. When we give something up, we turn our lives over to Jesus and turn away from sin.

What’s Lent and Why Do I Care?

The 40 days of Lent take us back to Jesus’ 40 days spent in the desert. We prepare ourselves during these 40 days to commemorate Jesus’ death and resurrection. Learn more about Ash Wednesday and why some Christians wear ash on their forehead on this day.

Practicing Lent As A Family 

Lent is a wonderful reminder of God’s provision and grace in our lives and when we celebrate at the Sabbath table on Easter Sunday, we rejoice and feast with our King. Read more about Lent and find great resources for your family.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Ash Wednesday 

Ashes are used as a symbol of the beginning of the season of Lent. They remind us of our sinfulness and our mortality. Whether or not you receive ashes on your forehead, you can take the 40 days of Lent to examine your heart and prepare yourself for the coming Easter. Is there something you can take away from your life that will help you focus on Christ more fully? Now is a great time to begin the conversations with your children that will help them grow in Christ during this time.

Three Bible Stories That Teach Kids About Lent

The included Bible stories will help you share the life and ministry of Jesus with your child during the Lenten season. Focusing your child’s attention on Jesus’ life as we head towards Easter is a great way to open their heart to deeper friendship with him. Discussing these important parts of the story is essential to building conversations of faith in your home.

Choosing Structure As Freedom: Reflections on Lent

Christine Bailey shares her heart for Lent: Freedom is not the absence of limitations; it is the choice of limitations. As a human, I am given the ability to design my own program for my freedom. As a believer, I’ve been given full freedom from Christ, but how I live my life decides if I embrace that or not. Out of this freedom, whom and what will I serve?


Jesus Is The Good News

If your family wants to learn more about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us, the DVD “Jesus Is The Good News!” is a wonderful way to help your children understand Jesus’ death and resurrection. A mom from Monrovia, CA wrote us to say “I love the truth, the emotion, the information and the heart of the story. The characters themselves struggle with the truth of what Jesus did for them, and this moment gives such an opportunity for young hearts to really wonder at the truth.”

Shop for “Jesus Is The Good News!’ now! 

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10 comments
Ruth Dixon
Ruth Dixon

Not sure celebrate is the right description! Observe?

Elizabeth Umanzor
Elizabeth Umanzor

Lent is basically fasting.. So why call it lent? It's fasting from doing something you usually do.. Like fasting from electronics, or fasting from food.. Etc.

Kevin Joiner
Kevin Joiner

Jesus' command on fasting: " But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly" (Matt 6:17)

Erika Hurst
Erika Hurst

Thank you for the article. According to the article, some people do this to turn his or her focus on God. And I think some do this for the sake of tradition. Whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do is what I think each individual should do. If giving up on something for forty days helps you to turn your focus on God more, I think that is great. I thought about this, but I think for my children's age, it'll be difficult for them to understand the connection between giving up something and turning your focus on something else. I think they'll just think it's not a fun forty days. So I won't be introducing it to the children. But I think the article was easy to understand. Thank you what's in the Bible?

Robert Delgado
Robert Delgado

It's not in the Bible, it's a man made thing, so why do it.

Iveta Kunčarová Brownsword
Iveta Kunčarová Brownsword

all in the world is wonderful but if this is man made tradition why celebrating ? If God did not commended, why keeping? Whatever explanation, this is nothing else as taken from Jewish Passowver , and not eating the LEVEN bread for a week. Read Leviticus 23.

timmydoulos
timmydoulos

Thank you for this. We are planning to do an Easter program at our church similar to the 'Why do we call it Christmas?' series. We are calling it 'Easter unwrapped' and will use portions from video 10 to discover the Easter story with our primary aged kids.

Other things we want to talk about are chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and lent, so this will be very useful.

Thanks for all you do. Looking forward to all the new materials you produce. Thanks Phil and the team.

MichaelStrelka
MichaelStrelka

Lent is more than fasting. it should also be a period of prayer and almsgiving, and a period of repentance and turning away from sin.

MichaelStrelka
MichaelStrelka

really? what did Christ do immediately after being baptized by John?