"So, what are you giving up for Lent?"
Has anybody ever asked you that question? Lent does involve self-denial, but it’s much more. It’s a season to focus on the hope of Jesus Christ through His death on the Cross and his Resurrection. However, over the course of church history, cynicism and legalism skewed the observance of Lent, causing some religious traditions to mandate particular practices toward an end of earning favor with God.
Reformers like John Calvin wanted to correct this mindset in the church, since it appeared to them to have no scriptural basis. Historically, the Christian Reformed Church shared the reformers’ perspectives about the practice of Lent. Today, many CRC congregations observe Lent, but focus on liturgy and worship that emphasize the preaching of God's Word, avoiding the rabbit trail of legalism. It’s not about what we do; it’s about what God’s Son did.
That’s the perspective of the “Focus on the Cross,” a special series of daily devotions for Lent from the Today Devotional. Today is a publication of the CRCNA through ReFrame Media, the English language ministry of Back to God Ministries International. The series has reached tens of thousands of new Today readers inside and outside the CRC. Readers go on a Lenten journey pointing unswervingly to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the basis of our hope.
If you want to focus your heart on the need for the the cross and prepare yourself to experience Easter anew this year, subscribe to Today and let “Focus on the Cross” encourage you in this season of Lent.