There are those who have their own important dates fall into the Lent period. I am one of them. My conviction and conversion by the Holy Spirit was in Lent several decades ago. It was a time of both tears and joy, which words cannot express. Today I read and listened to the reading by Charles Finney on how he encountered the Holy Spirit on October 10, and remember how I too was miraculously transformed by the mercy and love of God.
I therefore borrow below excerpts of Finney’s rich account of his encounter with the supernatural God:
“There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state. On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. I have always since regarded this as is most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect...
No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these wavers continue to pass over me.” I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;” yet I had no fear of death. . . .”
“In this state I was taught the doctrine of justification by faith, as a present experience.” ~Finney
What are some of the things participating Christians do? Fasting, praying, giving up some of their favorite activities/food or anything that they would otherwise enjoy. Please note that the actions do not give us merit. It is not a form of exchange with God for something we want. But it does benefit us in self-disciplined and an increase in awareness and sensitivity to the matters of God.
Some believers practice Lent as a family. Instead of focusing on an expectation of the excitement of hunting for Easter eggs, why not change our focus to looking at the Lord Jesus? In mission high school days, we had an event called, watch-night, to attend a Bible reading communion service on late Maundy Thursday night, to keep vigil and watch. The chapel remained opened throughout the night for those who chose to stay awake the whole night. Very few stayed. I did try to stay as late as possible to focus on the Lord. The memory of a few tiny persons in the empty chapel with the cool night air, alone sitting there, watching and waiting for something we did not understand then, is like a scene out of some movie. If I go back in time, would I do that again? I believe I would. Whilst I did not know Him, the Lord knew me even then.
The magnificent cathedral, the mission school boarding houses, and the weekly chapel duties, the class of 67. No one at that time would have thought of what we have each become today. Is this what the verse had meant, that whilst many were called few were chosen? Looking back, I cannot recall encountering God then. And yet, walking thus far, I now realize how close God has always been! He waited fifteen years to draw me back into His fold.
καί notes, 2023-03-07
Lent is a Christian annual period that starts on Ash Wednesday February 22 (2023) and ends on Maundy Thursday, April 6th, for 40 days (not Including Sundays) representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. It is practiced by some Christians, fasting and praying during the 40-day period of Lent to honor and remember the suffering of Jesus in the weeks before His death and resurrection.
Here is a list of days which signify important events in this relation:
Important Dates of Lent in 2023:
|Important Dates of Lent||Brief Overview of Significance||2023 Dates|
|Palm Sunday||Celebrates Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem||April 2, 2023|
|Holy Week||The week leading up to Easter||April 2 – April 8, 2023|
|Maundy Thursday||Commemorates the foot washing and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles||April 6, 2023|
|Good Friday||Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary||April 7, 2023|
|Holy Saturday||Commemorates Jesus’ body resting in the tomb||April 8, 2023|
|Easter Sunday||Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and his victory over sin and death.||April 9, 2023|
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