The story of Lent tells of how Jesus prepared to go out and teach the people and how he struggled against the idea of making himself into a powerful world leader.

The season of Lent is thought of as a sombre time, when people give up luxuries like chocolate.This is because, long ago, people survived on basic food like bread and water. They remember the story of how Jesus fasted in the wilderness before he set out to teach and how he was tempted to use his power to become a rich and powerful leader.

The season of Lent is a time to concentrate on prayer, repentance ( saying sorry) and forgiveness.

Shrove Tuesday is a time when people make the most of the time before the Ash Wednesday fast begins. In Britain it is a time for feasting and games and pancakes!

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season.

Ash Wednesday used to be a time when Christians wore ‘sack cloth and ashes’ to show how sorry they were for the wrong things they had done over the year In church on Ash Wednesday priests mark people’s foreheads with the sign of the ashes of the palm crosses given out the year before.

The Story of Lent

Jesus knew that soon he would have to leave his home in Nazareth and travel through his country, Judea, preaching and teaching.Jesus knew the time ahead was going to be difficult and he needed some time alone to think.

At this time, hardly anyone had heard of Jesus.  His cousin, John the Baptist, was much more famous! John the Baptist told people that another teacher was coming soon, one who could fill them with the Holy Spirit.The people knew that he meant the Messiah, who they believed would come and save them one day.

One day, Jesus came to John to be baptised and John knew straight away that Jesus was the Messiah.  He said that he couldn’t baptise Jesus because really Jesus should baptise him. But Jesus insisted and as he stepped into the water the people realised he was a very special person. The people heard the voice of God telling them, “This is my much-loved son.”

Jesus went in to the Wilderness for forty days thinking about the work he was to do. While Jesus was there, the devil started to tempt him. The devil said that the best way for Jesus to make people listen to him was to perform magic .

“If you are so hungry,” the devil said, “you could turn these stones into bread.” 

But Jesus knew it would be wrong to use his great powers just to please himself.

“Another thing you could do,” said the devil, “is throw yourself off a high tower.”  And it seemed to Jesus that he was stood at the top of the highest tower of the Temple.

“If you jumped off this,” the devil said, “God wouldn’t let you get hurt and the people would take much more notice of you.”

But Jesus refused to listen to the devil.

“You shouldn’t tempt God,” said Jesus.

And then the devil tempted Jesus to make himself into a very powerful ruler.

“Just worship me,” the devil said, “I’ll look after you. You’ll rule the whole world.”

But Jesus said, “Leave me alone.  I worship only God.”But Jesus said, “Leave me alone.  I worship only God.”

After that Jesus left the wilderness and set off travelling through the towns and villages, teaching people about God.

A prayer for Lent

Dear Lord,

Protect us all in our struggle against evil.  As we enter this season of Lent, help us to make this season holy by being truthful, but saying sorry for the things we have done wrong this year and by forgiving others. Please grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


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Page last updated: 27th Mar 2019 2:26 PM