Most of us know a bit about first-century Christianity, since we're probably familiar with the writings of the New Testament. The Acts of the Apostles and Paul's letters, for example, show a fledgling church confronting its first challenges and controversies—all the while giving us a peak at early Christian beliefs and practices. But what happened after the Apostles left the scene?
I’m just not getting anything out of it!" may be a common cry for many who find church boring. But I’m willing to bet much of this boredom stems from ignorance: We simply don’t know what church is all about! At least, that has been my experience. The fact is, the more I have learned about church, the less boring it has been. I have encountered four points in particular that have made me less bored—and even more excited—about going to church.
Lent is a special time dedicated to self-examination and conversion as Christians prepare to celebrate Easter, the high point of the Christian calendar. To appreciate Lent as a distinct period of the year, one has to remember that Christians have historically celebrated their faith by dividing the year into different liturgical seasons. Based on the central mysteries of the Christian faith and the life of Christ, these seasons allow believers to enter into the events of salvation history and mature in their faith—both individually and collectively as members of the church.