Why on earth would I post our March Preparation in the middle of February?
Well, this year nearly the entire month of March is dedicated to a very unique holiday, and we want to make sure we’re have enough time to sufficiently prepare.
But before we jump into today’s overview, I want to encourage you to check out CelebrationOfGod.com. We’re in the process of creating a website just for The Year Long Celebration of God. As the ministry is growing, we want our online presence to beneficially represent what God can do through us for anyone who wants to worship Him better this year.
And, of course, you can find today’s transcript and holiday resources on our blog.
And now, let’s talk about worshipping God in March.
March is the beginning of a brand new three month Season where we get to focus on a new attribute of God and another facet of salvation.
So, let’s start with that.
1. Prepare for the Season of Life.
The Season of Life is when we devote ourselves to meditating on the new life God offers. This new life has a temporal aspect as well as an eternal aspect. It has physical ramifications as well as spiritual ramifications.
And it flows so well from our previous Seasons. We started with the Season of Mercy that taught us that God doesn’t give us what we deserve, which transitioned perfectly into a study of Grace that teaches us that God abundantly gives us infinitely more than we deserve.
And a huge chunk of that grace is experienced in our justification.
So, we also need to . . .
2. Prepare for the celebration of Justification.
Justification is the moment that someone dead in their trespasses and sins is pronounced innocent before the Father.
And whether you believe that regeneration happens significantly before justification or in synchronicity with Justification, either way, Justification is an expected result of regeneration.
This Season we should take the time to meditate on and glory in the justifying work of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, based off the fact that we’re entering a new celebratory Season, we should give attention to preparing our hearts, our disciples, and our spaces.
Last year I failed to do anything with my Celebration Wall during the Season of Life. This year, I’m going to do better, and I invite you to join me.
I plan to put a garland of spring foliage around our Celebration Wall and post verses and reminders of the great things God has done for us.
But there are other things for which we should be preparing.
3. Prepare for the March holidays.
On Friday the 4th will be the World Day of Prayer, and that’s a wonderful happenstance as this year Lent starts on March 2nd and continues all the way through April 14th. That means that during a holiday season dedicated entirely to increased spiritual disciplines, the World Day of Prayer kicks it off.
Now, before you log off today because you don’t believe that Protestants should observe Lent, stick with me so I can share a couple things.
First of all, if you know who we are and what we’re trying to do here, then you know that we are a Protestant organization that seeks to glorify God by helping His disciples worship Him better this year than they did last year.
If you haven’t yet listened to our Introductory Episodes that explain — in great detail — who we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re doing it, then I strongly encourage you to do so. I wouldn’t want you to come to the wrong conclusions.
Second of all, Lent is not a really a Catholic holiday. Don’t give that to them. It’s not theirs.
Here’s why I say that. The first reason is that no one can be 100% sure when it was officially instituted in the church. Most scholars believe that it may have been a common practice among Christians in preparation for Easter.
Second, the doctrine of fasting is taught all throughout the Scriptures, and some of the most famous biblical fasts just so happened to be have been 40 days long.
And third, if we can take a day like Halloween and give God the preeminence that He deserves on that day, we can definitely observe a holiday that was — in fact — created to give God the preeminence that He’s due.
I strongly encourage you to navigate to the holidays page at CelebrationOfGod.com and click on Lent. From there you should see an episode called “Lent | Preparing, Celebrating, Discipling.” Listen to that episode for a helpful overview of the holiday.
Also, plan to join us next Friday for an important conversation about Lent. I want to address what I believe may be some really big misunderstandings when it comes to observing this holiday.
However, for today allow me to share a couple interesting observations about Lenten.
The word “Lent” is derived form an Old English word which referred to the spring season. The word communicated the lengthening of the days as Spring approached. And there are various derivatives in various European languages.
Traditionally, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends about six weeks later, right before Easter. That’s a total of 46 days. That also means that the last week of Lent is the Passion Week, which starts on Palm Sunday.
Lent is only supposed to be 40 days long, however. Most traditions, though, do not observe Lent on the Sundays because Sunday is supposed to be a mini-celebration of the resurrection. Therefore, when you remove the six Sundays, you end up with 40 days of Lenten.
As I mentioned before, historically, no one can perfectly nail down the genesis of Lent. Some loosely tie it to the Apostle’s mourning over the loss of the Lord after the crucifixion. Other’s quote ancient sources that claim that something similar to Lent was already being practiced by the church. And others point to the Council of Nicea in which it mentions “the 40 days of Lent.” Either way, until recent generations, fasting was always an expected practice of God-worshippers.
Regardless of how it started, though, the purpose of the observation has universal agreement. Lent is a time of spiritual Preparation for Eastertide.
And — listen — spiritual preparation is so incredibly important.
I read recently that Satan’s biggest weapons are crowds, busyness, and noise. I don’t if that’s 100% true, but He definitely uses them a lot — that’s for sure.
And one of the repercussions of such tactics is that we are in a constant state of an overstimulated sense of urgency. We never really think about what we need to do; we simply complete one task to jump immediately into the next, and the moment before we wrap up that line item, we’re already into the next.
And this is often the detrimental case in our worship of God. We don’t take careful time to prepare our minds to read His Word. We don’t give attention to upcoming holidays to make sure that we’re being intentional. And we don’t plan out our parenting, schooling, work, vacations, and entertainment to make certain that we’re worshipping God with them instead of merely pleasing ourselves.
But Preparation is the process of intentionally readying our mind to worship God as we should.
And that’s what Lent is. Lent is a 46 day Preparation for the most amazing holiday of the year — Easter.
Lent is a time of allowing God to reveal if there are any wicked ways in us. It’s a time of prayer. It’s a time of fasting. It’s a time of increased devotion as we intentionally meet with God more often than usual. It’s a time to carefully think through the best way to worship God during Passion Week and Easter all the way through Ascension and Pentecost.
Basically, it’s a time to reset our spiritual lives in lieu of the fact that we’re about to observe the day where God purchased us eternal life — the greatest reset in all history.
Listen, I did not start observing Lent until 2021. That’s right, you heard me. My first 40 years of life I thought nothing of Lent, or I looked down my nose at the people walking around with ash on their forehead, Fish Fridays, and the idea of fasting.
And that’s why I want to have an important conversation about Lent this coming Friday. I want to share with you the five biggest truths God taught me two years ago that resulted in me choosing to celebrate God via Lent.
But, if you’re going to observe Lent well, which is a preparation for Easter, then you’re going to need to adequately prepare for this special Preparation.
Now, I’m not saying you need to do a 40 Day water fast, but I am saying that regardless of how you choose to observe Lent, since it’s a 46 day event, you will need to give careful thought to what you’re going to do.
If you don’t prepare well, you likely may not celebrate God well. And the whole point of The Year Long Celebration of God is that we celebrate God as well as we can and get better at it every year.
You can check out our Lenten Holiday page for various resources to help you prepare well. One of those resources is a 40 Day Lenten Bible Reading. It’s an intentionally curated Bible Reading that works you through the biblical ideas of fasting, prayer, repentance, and righteous living. You can download that free PDF at CelebrationOfGod.com.
You can also find Lenten Anticipations there. Anticipations are fun because they help us remember that we do not serve an ancient dead deity. But even though our God has existed from eternity past and also interacts with us now, there is infinitely more God is going to do in the future than what He has done or is doing.
Anticipations help us to look past the noise and crowds and busyness of this life to see the majestic plans God has for the future.
And since the entire Year Long Celebration of God is an interconnected series of High Days and Low Moments, it’s very helpful to see how our current celebrations should inform our future celebrations.
So, by way of review, we should take the next couple weeks to carefully prepare for the new Season of Life, the new meditation on justification, the World Day of Prayer, and Lent.
And — to finish off for today — as I’ve already mentioned, worshipping God in March can really be about preparing to worship Him during Easter.
It’s amazing how easy it is to prepare for Halloween and Christmas a month early, but then if it weren’t for Palm Sunday, Easter would totally sneak up on us.
Don’t let your Easter Preparation be dictated by Walmart decorations. Make plans during March for how you and your fellow disciples can worship God on the greatest holiday of the year.
And, as always, we do lots of other things during March too. We go to school, work, recreate, spend time with friends, disciple, sleep, eat, go to church, and a milieu of other activities. Let’s make sure that we’re giving God the preeminence during those as well.
Every second of our lives should be lived as a sacrifice to our great God. It’s the most exciting way to live, and it’s the reasonable act of worship that He deserves.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so that other followers of Christ can prepare well for worshipping God in March.
And never hesitate to reach out to Counselor@CelebrationOfGod.com with any questions or struggles you may have.
And definitely join us next time as we seek to better know, love, and worship God and then help the people in our lives do the same.
To that end, we’ll be having An Important Conversation about Lent.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.