The Season of Lent at Tyndale
Tyndale University College & Seminary celebrated the beginning of the season of Lent with a special Ash Wednesday service. The service included ancient liturgy, and the community was invited to receive the sign of the cross, representing Christ’s suffering and our sin. Historically, the 40 days of Lent relates to the 40 days Christ fasted in the desert after his baptism.
For many Tyndale students, the season of Lent is an opportunity to refocus their attention on God. Here is how a few of those who are participating describe their journey:
“Before coming to Tyndale, I had never given something up for Lent. Here I met Protestants from traditions that observe this practice. It is partially because of them that I’m embarking on Lent in the first place. This year I gave up my iPod because I was convicted about how isolating it is. It’s been really challenging. When there’s time left to yourself, things tend to come up that you have avoided thinking about. But those topics are likely what God wants you to wrestle with. Without the music filling my head and filling time that is otherwise open, I’m forced to talk to God and become more honest with him.” - Leah Vetro [MDiv]
“I decided to give up alcohol as a reminder that I can relinquish things when needed. The Ash Wednesday chapel was a somber reminder of why we do this. It helped me start off on the right note, and because of that I have taken my commitment more seriously. Living with friends from Tyndale has made it easier. They’ve supported me and it’s great to be surrounded with likeminded people. I’m reminded that you don’t have to be ruled by the small pleasures in life, you can sacrifice something for the sake of Christ. It’s important to live my life not just for my own comfort and benefit. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something in order to live more selflessly.” - Conor Sweetman [BA English]
“My internship group decided that we would give up sugar. We want to take care of our physical selves because God works through us. Being healthy allows us to focus more on how God wants to use us. Giving up something that you love is hard, but that is the Christian journey. You come to realize what you give up is small compared with how God is equipping us for our callings. Coming to the campus and interacting with students has helped me to stay focused and maintain discipline. Once in a while when they hear about what I’m doing, they ask if we can stop and pray, and that has been really encouraging.” - Marva Smith [MDiv]
What does lent mean to you?