For many Uniting Church members Lent is a time for spiritual reflection and for participating in Bible study. Lent gives us a special focus in the journey towards Easter as we observe the death of Christ and the celebration of resurrection, writes Neil Thorpe.
In the early Church, Lent was a time of preparation for the baptisms which would take place during the Easter period. Today, the Uniting Church resource for the lectionary readings in 2013–2014 describes Lent as:
“A season of preparation and discipline that begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes at sundown on Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday. During the 40 weekdays and six Sundays in Lent, the Church remembers the life and ministry of Jesus and renews its commitment to him in Christian discipleship.”
Lent is a time of deep reflection and re-commissioning to be a disciple. It is a time in the year when many Uniting Church communities make a special effort to offer studies that take us along the way with Christ towards Jerusalem and the cross. We are challenged to “take up the cross” (Matthew 10:38) and enter into a deeper discipleship.
By observing Lent in this way, we are joining with the many other churches across the world who also observe Lent. There is a sense of sharing together in faith as we focus on Jesus. UnitingWorld’s Lent Event is a good way to especially focus on this aspect of Lent, with resources which provide information and ideas to support our partner churches in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Lenten studies usually draw their biblical material from those passages associated with Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem and the events leading up to Easter including Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
There are many Lenten studies available. Congregations often develop their own for local use, but there are others widely available as well.
Whether you can join with others in your local setting or have to study alone, make Lent a time when you focus on Jesus, his ministry, teaching, sacrifice and death and consider your response to him as Lord and saviour.
Neil is the Director of Pilgrim Learning Community pilgrim.ucaqld.com.au
With you Always: Lenten Studies in Matthew’s Gospel
Lent for Everyone
The Last Week
Marcus Borg and Dominic Crossan
Another Story Must Begin: A Lent Course Based on Les Miserables
Further resources recommended by the Uniting Church Assembly can be found at