Encouragement for Your Family’s Lent and Easter

Christopher Hunt

February 14, 2024

The season of Lent and celebration of Easter are closely linked in Christian tradition. In the liturgical calendar, Lent begins 46 days before Easter (on Ash Wednesday) and ends on the Thursday before Easter. Because each Sunday of Lent is considered a 'mini Easter,' Sundays are not counted as part of the 40-day Lenten season. Many people think of Lent as a particularly Roman Catholic practice focused on “giving something up,” but Christians of many different traditions have observed Lent since the early days of Christianity. More recently, the practice has seen a renewal among a growing number of Protestants.

Lent is a reminder of our need for a savior. It’s true that self denial—like fasting or abstaining from certain foods, luxuries, or activities—can play a role in lenten observance. Others observe Lent by “taking something up”—such as extra giving, volunteering, or study. But neither giving nor taking something up is actually the point; these are meant to remind us to focus our hearts on our need for Christ’s saving work on the Cross, and to prepare ourselves to celebrate his victory over sin and death at Easter.

Lent ends with the events immediately preceding Easter, including Maundy Thursday (the Last Supper), Good Friday (the Crucifixion), and Silent Saturday. Easter makes us think of colored eggs, spring dresses, and new shoes, but in fact, Easter is the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. The ash and solemnity of Lent and Good Friday give way to the joy of the empty tomb, a celebration of “He is risen!” (Matthew 28:6 KJV). Easter is the holiday on which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after he was crucified. Easter celebrates Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for all people and his victory over death and sin.

If your family desires focus and encouragement for Lent and Easter, explore the articles listed below. Our writers love to share their passion for Spirit-led relationships, marriage, and parenting in the important seasons of our lives, like Lent and Easter.

What Are You Giving Up for Lent?, by Rev. Dr. Bret Lamsma -- Giving up (or picking up) something during Lent can cultivate our sense of needing a savior and show our families what Christ's death and resurrection accomplished for us as we make intentional changes in our lives.

The Gift of Sacrifice
, by Rev. Deb Koster -- For us Jesus suffered. To bring us peace and to bring us healing, he suffered. Why is it significant that Jesus suffered?

Living Our Easter Identity: How Christ's Death and Resurrection Changes Us
, by Kim Sullivan -- Christ suffered to pay for our sins and restore us to God. At Easter, we realize Christ accepts us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us as we were.

Living Our Easter Identity: The Impact of Christ's Dying Words
, by Kim Sullivan -- Even today, Jesus' last words still resonate and encourage us in our daily lives. Consider how our Savior responded to great suffering and see what lessons we can find in his dying words.

Jesus Promises Our Forgiveness
, by Rev. Dr. Bret Lamsma -- Forgiveness is an easy word to say, but difficult to understand. Forgiveness is an essential component of our personal and relational healing as well as the central theme of Jesus life, death, and resurrection.

Claiming Our Spiritual Identity
, by Kim Sullivan -- In a world that tries to cheapen life by exalting what is on the outside, we must constantly renew our minds with God’s thoughts about us. Let’s claim the spiritual identity given us in Christ.

Easter Grace: Seize the Teaching Opportunity
, by Nadia Swearingen-Friesen -- Easter is a time to seize every teaching opportunity. Make a point to share the truth about God's love, compassion, and response to our suffering.

What it Means to Love One Another
, by Rev. Deb Koster -- Relationships benefit when we follow God’s teachings for how we should treat the “one anothers” that God has placed within our lives.

About the author — Christopher Hunt

Christopher Hunt is the marketing communications manager for ReFrame Ministries, the parent ministry of Family Fire.

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