This will be my first year in an Anglican tradition as we enter Lent. Last Advent was my first season in the Anglican tradition and it was a great time of learning. While I have emphasized Lent in my own ministry the last several years, this is a season where I am entering fully into the life of a community that full practices this rhythm of Christian life.
An excellent post by an Anglican pastor lifts up the thought of fully entering into the life of community rather than “tailoring” your Lent.
For our church, we have had the two Sundays before Lent focus our attention toward Lent. We are reading a book (The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent by Aaron Damiani) as a community. We are focusing on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, with our giving directed specifically to a project that brings relief to hurricane victims.
It is an intentional choice to enter the Church’s choices for Lent rather than “do my own thing.” (I’ll still utilize a devotional for Lenten reading and keep working through Fleming Rutledge’s book on the Crucifixion, but that will not be my main focus in this season.)
Lent is a wonderful rhythm to prepare us for Easter. It is truly more powerful when it is done in community.