Skip to content

Lent is for the training of disciples

Lent is more important to your discipleship than you think. Its origins are about 1800 years ago in the Egyptian desert where they would baptise new disciples at Easter. Each disciple would go through 40 days of serious prayer and preparation as they approached their public declaration of faith and their renunciation of any other way other than the way of Jesus.

Rev Mark Bishop

It was the beginning of lent and I was only 22 and I had no idea what lent even was. I was the kind of 22 year old who ran as far as I could way from Jesus rather than a follower but in the middle of a Lenten night I was awake.

 

I was exhausted with life, depressed and ‘coming down’.

 

Suddenly I felt like I heard a voice, ‘It’s time to come back now Mark’. Everything changed from that moment on. Jesus was calling me and I could hear it.

 

Lent is a season that the Church across the world practices every year, it starts on ‘Shrove Tuesday’ aka ‘Pancake Day’ and runs roughly 40 days leading up to Easter. The word ‘Lent’ comes from an old German word meaning ‘spring’ but the church’s practice finds its origins about 1800 years ago in the Egyptian desert where they would baptise new disciples at Easter. Each disciple would go through 40 days of serious prayer and preparation as they approached their public declaration of faith and their renunciation of any other way other than the way of Jesus. In the desert they would learn things about themselves and things about God but most of all they would learn how to be a disciple.

 

Lent is for the training of disciples.

 

1. Lent is about leaving:

Lent zings with Jesus’ call. Leave the old ways, the coping mechanisms, the bad habits and the escape strategies. Leave the patterns of hurt and hate, boredom and self-centeredness. Leave them behind and come to me. Lent is a opportunity to acknowledge our own broken choices and seek practical healing.

 

2. Lent is about resisting:

Lent is not just about accepting Jesus’ call to follow him. It is also about resisting the other calls that press in on you and competes for the disciples head, heart and hands. Lent draws on Jesus’ own 40 day temptation (Lk 4:1-13) and invites us to flee temptation (2 Tim. 2:22-24). It is a chance to come back, to enter into new discipline and training that helps us be in the world but not of it (Jn 17:16).

 

3. Lent is about listening:

Our world, our communities, towns, villages, cities, the friends we have, the things we read and listen to, the trends we follow, all of these are silently able to harden us to Jesus and mess up our ability to hear from God. Lent cries out with the Apostle Paul, ‘Do not be conformed!’ (Rom 12:2) and the Apostle James ‘Resist the enemy!’ (James 4:7).

 

 

4. Lent is about being wild to the world:

This is why Lent is important to you, you are called to be wild to the world. Not called to escape the world but be eagerly wait and seek glimpses of the new world that is coming (Rev. 21). Practice things that show the wild nature of the God who heals, who saves, who delivers. Be cunning to avoid the worldly versions of discipleship which seek to conform us. Wipe away what has dulled your eyes to the Life-Light that is coming into the world (John 1:9-13 msg). Lent is a time when God says it is time to come back now, wake up, be made new, again, and again, and again. Can you hear him this Lent?

 

 

Mark is an Ordained Pioneer Minister. He planted a missional community in Acton Vale, a council estate in West London. He works closely with the Lee Abbey Movement and Tierra Neuva Europe. As an Islington Associate, Mark helps support the burgeoning network of missional communities springing up across London and beyond, as well as looking after our School of Pioneers.

Making Disciples Interview with Andy Frost

How to raise faith in the family.

Andy Frost

Andy Frost heads up Share Jesus International. Working with Care for the family and Katherine Hill, Andy has been apart of creating Raising Faith. In this conversation, we talk about kids and how to disciple your family. We talk about the five helpful hits to disciple your children. 1. Praying with your kids 2. Reading the Bible with them and them seeing you read 3. Being intentional in asking questions about faith 4. Committing to a church family and playing your part 5. Looking to point faith outwards towards others. wearemakingdisciples.com

Lent in a Bag

Pilgrims journeying together…. Throughout the forty days of Lent, we remember the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. Each week, we will be taking time to reflect upon what might sustain us when we find ourselves in a “ wilderness.” Perhaps not literally, but in terms of facing empty, bleak or difficult times in our own lives. Perhaps something that happens at work, school or at home and we know that somehow we will have to get through it. We will have to “ walk through the wilderness”. “ Lent in a Bag” helps us to consider what we need to journey through that wilderness as pilgrims together.

Rev Wendy Bray

HOW TO USE MAKING DISCIPLES IN LENT

Lent can be an amazing opportunity to take stock and invest in to our discipleship and spiritual formation with honesty and reality.

Cris Rogers

Back to Blogs