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Lent

Lent

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Published by glennpease
Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.


SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS


LENT is a fast of forty days, not including Sundays. It begins with Ash
Wednesday, and ends with the Saturday preceding Easter. The Roman
Catholic, Anglican, and other Churches make it a season of special self-denial.
Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.


SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS


LENT is a fast of forty days, not including Sundays. It begins with Ash
Wednesday, and ends with the Saturday preceding Easter. The Roman
Catholic, Anglican, and other Churches make it a season of special self-denial.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 19, 2014
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LET Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D. SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS AD ILLUSTRATIOS LET is a fast of forty days, not including Sundays. It begins with Ash Wednesday, and ends with the Saturday preceding Easter. The Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other Churches make it a season of special self-denial. It is sometimes called the quadrigesimal fast. Because of the mortifying of the flesh and special penance and prayer, Lent is preeminently the season of Spiritual revival in the Church. It is supposed to have had its origin in a desire to commemorate our Lord s forty days of fasting in the wilderness, and His temptation by Satan. At first it lasted only forty hours, the length of time our Lord lay in the grave, and was purely voluntary. In time, however, it developed into a regularly prescribed fast, and was observed by Christians generally. Its duration was extended to thirty-six days in the fifth or sixth century. Either Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, or Gregory II., in the eighth century, added the four days to make out the forty. Moses, Elias, and our Lord each fasted forty days, and many contend that this accounts for the forty days of Lent. It is an interesting fact that nations and individuals in all ages and in all parts of the world have observed days and seasons of fasting and prayer. In Jonah iii : 7-8, we read of the fast observed by the inevites, when Jonah threat
 
ened them with Jehovah s judgment on their sins. The Jews from the beginning of their existence as a distinct nation observed days of fasting.* While our Lord and the Apostles did not command fasting, their language anticipates such an exercise of the soul on fitting occasions. f The Mohammedans, annually kept their ninth month, Ramadan, as a fast, abstaining from food and drink, from the rising to the setting of the sun, and otherwise curbing their natural appetites. That fasting was a practice of the ew Testament Church is shown by such passages as Acts xiv : 23. And the history of the Christian Church shows that believers of all nations and denominations, as organized bodies and as individuals, have believed in the efficacy of lenten thought, self-examination, fasting, and prayer. LETE THOUGHTS One of the most impressive features of the great experience which the Lenten season commemorates was its solitariness. With drawn from all companionship in the silence and loneliness of the desert those tremen dous temptations came and were resisted which afforded the first test of the divine strength of Christ. In this experience, as in all the experiences which made up the story of his life, all men and women have a share. The great temptations, the great trials, those things which shake and shape us, come to us
 
in solitude. Sometimes, under the spell of the contagion of feeling which a great crowd breathes out, men and women perform * Lev. xvi : 29 ; Judges xx : 36 ; 2 Chron. xx ; decisive acts; but for the most part those things which determine character come about in silence and solitude. All the deepest experiences are allied with solitariness. There is a beautiful significance in this, since it is only as we withdraw our selves from men that we find ourselves face to face with God. He who does not find the Creator in the creation and the Father in the brother as he goes about the world from day to day will never find him in any desert places ; but he who does thus find the divine in the human, and who renders his service to God in His helpfulness to men, finds no place so filled with a great companionship as those 3 ; Jer. xii : 3. t Matt, vi : 16-18 ; ix : 15. LET 81 solitary places which men call deserts. To be alone by ourselves, if we are right with our fellows, is to be with God.

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