Encounters in the Wilderness


Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, meaning “lengthen” and refers to the lengthening days of spring. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. 

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by new converts and then became a time of penance by all Christians. Today, Christians focus on relationship with God, growing as disciples and extending ourselves, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of ourselves for others.

Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter.” This is why you will see the designation “Sunday in Lent” rather than “Sunday of Lent” in the naming of these Sundays. On each Lord’s Day in Lent, while Lenten fasts continue, the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.

This handout will help you prepare for our Lenten journey together.  It invites you to take on an inward and/or outward spiritual practice this Lent.

Lenten Study Options

What does it mean to be deeply committed Christians, growing in faith every day? How do we become fully engaged and flourish in the Christian life?

During the season of Lent, we will explore a model for Christian discipleship, built around five essential practices – practices that we engage in both collectively and individually in order to more fully follow Jesus.

Join us as together we look at worship, grow, serve, give and share – closing the spiritual gap in our lives.

Join us Tuesday nights at 6pm for our Lenten study.

Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.

— N.T. Wright