Lent 2016 – A Letter to Our Church Family

Posted on February 10, 2016

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Center City Family – 

A season of prayer and fasting begins today as we are now moving into a season on the church calendar called Lent. This is a forty day journey in which we will join churches across the world as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. There is something unique and powerful about knowing that we are participating in an activity that is being shared by believers across the globe. I hope you will join us.

Practically speaking, the way that Lent is designed is to abstain from something that is a normal part of your daily routine. We fast on Monday-Saturday, and then take Sundays off during this season. 

My wife and I will significantly change our eating habits during this season. Others may choose to abstain from social media or some other digital platform that is fun, but not necessary to their daily lives. Think of ways that you can change the rhythm of your days. Don’t make it too easy that you won’t feel it. But also, don’t feel pressure. Remember, this is your choice – no one is making you do this.

Additionally, it’s probably best if people don’t know exactly what you’re doing, as this is a personal thing between you and God. The aim of this season is to fix our hearts on Jesus. When you naturally go to pick up the thing you’ve laid down for this season, that’s your cue to pray, worship, express gratitude to God, etc. I am praying that this will be a season that you make room for God to impact your life, speak to you sweetly, and help you to grow in your faith. 

On a personal note in relation to our church family, I would love for you to include prayers for our next step as a church family. God has opened some incredible doors for us to explore moving to West Charlotte to join several other non-profits at the Movement Center at 2225 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28214.

Pray that God gives us wisdom and clarity as we navigate these next steps. I’ve been very reserved about this up to this point because I’ve wanted to make sure that our Board of Directors, Staff, Elders,  and Stewardship Team have taken wise and measured steps. I could not be more excited about the next steps, and I believe that we are on the verge of something more significant than I properly can express. I believe that this season of fasting and prayer is going to usher in a new and unique season for our church family. I believe that we will look back on 2016 and realize that we were all a part of something incredibly significant and special. 

I love you guys, appreciate you, and am so grateful to be a part of this community. You are loved. Let’s dig in and go deeper in our faith together. 

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Jesus Teaches on Fasting and Prayer

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**Matthew 6:5-13 – “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair  and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

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