Daily Journey Through Lent With The Early ChurchSample
Lent is the Church’s way of getting us back on track, leading us to our true goal in life: to live with God here on Earth. Lent isn’t about giving up the one thing that we deserve the most; Lent is about kenosis (a Greek word meaning emptying ourselves) of our desires and wills to be united with God. Lent is not a period of time that comes and goes once a year, but rather a life that is to be lived daily.
We begin Lent preoccupied and distracted, so that our significant other, family, work, children or life take the place of God and become our god – anything that takes the totality of our time and focus in life – but the goal is, by the grace of God and this devotional, that we will walk together and with Him focused on Him, His way, His truth, His life, His death and Resurrection, whereby He completed His mission (life-giving salvific work) and gives to us new life freely to all those that believe in Him.
The walk with God during Lent, as prescribed by the Coptic Orthodox Church, has weekly themes and daily readings that both tie in and expand on the weekly theme more. The first week’s theme is: Preparation for Procession – the Procession of the Lamb. St. John the Baptist proclaims, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29]. The Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, prepares us, His friends (John 15:15) to proceed with Him to the Cross. We are told to pick up our cross and follow Him, daily dying to ourselves, desires and wills (Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27). He takes us with Him to the Cross and when we get there, daily, we should nail those desires, wills and sins to the Cross and experience His life-giving Resurrection with Him – this is the meaning of Lent, to be united with Him; this is our daily life as believers.
To begin down this path, we must turn our backs to our former ways, we must reject sin and evil. St. John Chrysostom, the 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople and a “doctor of the Church”, comments on Mark 9:48 saying, “Christ has killed and buried your former transgressions, like worms. How then is it that you have bred others? For sins that harm the soul are more deadly than worms which harm the body. And they make a more offensive stench. Yet we do not even perceive their rankness, and so we sense no urgency to purge them out. So the drunkard fails to recognize how disgusting stale wine is, while one who is sober perceives the difference easily. So with sins: one who lives soberly sees easily the mire and the stain, but one who gives himself up to wickedness, like one made drowsy with drunkenness, does not even realize that he is ill. This is the worst aspect of evil, that it does not allow those who fall into it even to see the seriousness of their own diseased state, but as they lie in the mire, they think they are enjoying perfumes. So they do not have the slightest inclination to free themselves. And when full of worms they act like those who pride themselves in precious stones, exulting in them. For this reason they not only have no will to kill them, but they even nourish them, and multiply them in themselves, until they send them on to the worms of the age to come.”
About this Plan
A glimpse into the beauty of the early church’s perspective of lent. Taste the depth and richness of this daily study by read...
We would like to thank Coptic Orthodox Church for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.suscopts.org/