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Season of Lent: February 13–March 30, 2013 - The African ...

Season of Lent: February 13–March 30, 2013 - The African ...

Season of Lent: February 13–March 30, 2013 - The African

LENT(Season of Lent: February 13–March 30, 2013) FOCUS ON FASTINGSunday, February 17, 2013J. Kameron Carter, African American Lectionary Cultural Resource CommentatorThe unit you are viewing, Lent, is a compact unit. This means that it does not have asupporting cultural resource unit and worship unit. Instead, to enliven the imagination ofpreachers and teachers, we have provided a scriptural text for this moment on thecalendar along with a sermonic outline, suggested links, books, articles, songs, andvideos. For additional information, see Lent in the archives of the Lectionary.I. Description of the Liturgical MomentToday’s lectionary moment concerns Lent, which is observed during the liturgical yearby many Christian denominations. Lasting for a period of about 40 days, Lent runs fromAsh Wednesday to Maundy (or Holy) Thursday or Easter Eve (Holy Saturday). Whilecelebration of the Lenten season is not unknown in African American Christiancommunities, it has tended to be overshadowed by other days of the liturgical calendar,not the least of which is Easter itself. In his 2008 Lectionary commentary, the Rev. JohnE. Guns beautifully captures the significance and history of Lent as a spiritual practicequite suited to helping us gain our bearings in a world marked by rampant materialism.He says:As our culture and the church become more secular and driven by the seductivespirit of distorted materialism, the need for a healthy observance of Lent increases.Lent, which began in the fourth century, has endured several stages ofdevelopment. In its origination, Lent served as a forty-day period of study andconcentrated prayer in preparation for baptism, which would be held during theEaster season. Throughout the course of time, Lent has evolved to serve as aseason of self-denial and intense consecration.This aspect of Lent—“self-denial,” usually in terms of fasting from food—has been takenup by many Christians, though the wider significance of this season of self-denial andintense consecration has been lost to view. Again, the Rev. Guns has spoken insightfullyto this point as well:

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