Why I Don’t “Do Lent”

Every year as we enter into the season leading up to Easter it’s not uncommon for me to get asked a few times why I don’t lead The RESCUE Church to observe Ash Wednesday and the proceeding season of Lent.  So I thought I’d tackle that question in this blog post and share my thoughts.

Let me be quick to say that I have no objection to the tradition of Ash Wednesday/Lent nor do I believe it’s wrong for followers of Jesus Christ to participate in that tradition if they so choose.

Having said that the reason I don’t personally observe that tradition is because it’s just that…man-made tradition that  has been passed down through the years to the point, that for many people, its just an empty religious ceremony that is observed without any personal connection to the very God it’s supposed to be about.  I guess my biggest annoyance with Ash Wednesday/Lent is to see people (and obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone…I get that) who, for the rest of the year, live as if there is no God at all, yet now all of a sudden are taking part in something their church (that they haven’t attended for the past 9 months or more!) says is important.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ words,“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” (Matthew 15:8-9)

Again, please hear me!  I’m not saying that I believe ALL people who participate in Ash Wednesday or Lent do so in a hypocritical manner, but certainly it’s true of many. 

How about you?  If you do participate in the tradition, what does it mean to you?  How does it affect your life and your personal walk with the Lord?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time…

About Jon Sanders

Follower of Jesus; Husband to an amazing woman; Father of 3 great kids; Pastor of a multi-site church with a vision to reach rural America for Christ!
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  • I was raised in a denomination that had a tradition of Ash Wednesday. It meant, to me, that I couldn’t have meat for 40 days.

    Now, I love the introspection and God-spection of Lent. The reminder of the obedient sacrifice of a loving, merciful God brings me to my knees as it does everyday. But just as Jesus brings His minsitry to a new focused path toward Jerusalem and the Cross, Lent refocuses my Walk and encourages me to continue to choose to pick up my cross and follow.

    I totally agree that there is no Biblical directive to participate in Lenten tradtions. I love choosing to refocus, and dig deeper, over these 40 days because the benefit is eternally lasting. Not just good for 40 days.