About the iLent.org Project
The iLent Project, is an encounter with the Living God written by over 30 pastors of various denominations in the San Francisco East Bay. For each day in Lent there is a scripture reading on the life of Christ and a observation by a local pastor on the passage with an opportunity for you to share what you observed God saying and what you will do about it.
Who is Church Without Shoes
- The name refers to a collection of Christ-honoring churches in the Diablo Valley who are choosing to live in love and service together in our community.
- These pastors and churches are pursuing ways to work together to better serve God and people. We seek follow Jesus as we grow UP (worship) in our relationship and responsibilities with God, IN (community/friends) with our relationships and responsibilities with one another, and OUT (mission) together in our relationship and responsibilities to the world where we live.
- “Church Without Shoes” recalls the servant model of Jesus. On the night He was betrayed, He removed the disciples’ shoes, including Judas’ (John 13). He washed their feet and charged them to serve in the world in the same way.
- When we serve God and people together this way, discipleship becomes worship as we become an affirming “Yes” to Jesus’ prayer and plan in John 17:21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father–that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.
What is Lent
Lent is a reflective season roughly corresponding to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness where He endured the temptations of the devil as He prepared Himself for the following years of ministry, the cross and the resurrection.
Lent’s 40 days are a season of self knowing that begin by counting the days backward (excluding Sundays) from the day marking Jesus’ resurrection. Lent is a time marked by contemplation during which we consider life and allow ourselves to become aware of the load we carry, the depth of God’s love and the relief of the Savior.
History of Lent
Lent is an ancient rhythm of intentional spiritual focus. Unlike many other days and seasons in the church calendar, Lent finds its origin and some form of practice in the earliest days (apostolic age) of the life of the church. Even then the church was listening to the Spirit and asking, “How do we best live knowing Jesus and loving like Him?” By the fourth century, there were widespread commonalities in Lenten experiences. Still, there is no question that the practice and the length of days observed for Lent has morphed over time. As the church continued to find its own diverse expression, spreading across geography and history, time and tradition set in. The discussion of meaningful Lenten practice and observation continues today, here and now, with the iLent project.
How Long Is Lent?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter, and ends as the good news of the resurrection ushers in the assurance of a new future secured for humanity. That is more than 40 days.
Why is it more than 40 days? The 40 days don’t count the Sundays. In the early church, every Sunday was a sacred celebration for remembering the joy of Jesus’ resurrection. It didn’t seem appropriate to have the shadow of Lent’s somber spirit hanging over the Resurrection Sunday celebration. The solution was to simply eliminate the Sundays, so they weren’t counted among the 40 days!
In the iLent Project rhythm we have continued the Lenten reflections right through and including each Sunday. In this way, we have honored the tension that it is Lent and it is also the Lord’s Day.
Is Lent in the Bible?
Lent isn’t in the bible…but you can find its rhythm there. Seasons of forty days are found in the Old as well as the New Testament. Early followers of Jesus developed spiritual habits (disciplines, practices) to invigorate their personal and corporate spirituality. Lent traces its roots to this earliest tradition of Christ followers. Wanting to emphasize the power of the Cross and significance of the resurrection, they set aside this season to reflect on life, sin, love, God’s intervention, sacrifice and victory for humankind.
Why Practice Lent?
Lent is sacred for some, ignored by others, and there are some for whom it may have become an empty and lifeless practice. Like anything good, it is only as good as it is meaningful to the practitioner. There is a great richness here if we will linger in the experience. If you will make the iLent practice a spiritual habit for this season, we expect you to experience increased joy, awareness and participation in your journey with God and others. Let’s walk this road, aware that we are not alone. We walk with many others today and know that Christ’s followers have walked this road for generations before.
How Can I Practice Lent?
Understanding that life is busy. The easiest way is to subscribe to iLent.org.