Lent at Haymarket Church
Experience the Season of Lent
In order to help us dive deeply into Scripture, we will be reading the book The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus by Adam Hamilton. This book is a short guide to help us better understand the Life of Jesus. We will read one chapter each week (starting with the Introduction) beginning on February 27 and going through the week after Easter (April 23). We have purchased a copy of the book for every household at our church, so that everyone can participate in this opportunity to grow in faith. If you are reading this, we’d be happy to get you a copy so you can study along with us!
Because this book walks through the life of Jesus, we are encouraging folks to read the Gospels (the stories of the life of Jesus in the New Testament) alongside reading this book. If you want to read with us, check our daily Bible reading plan (linked at the button, below).
Would you like a book? CONTACT US
What is Lent?
Here’s a great, simple, explanation of Lent from the United Methodist Church:
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
This year, Lent begins on March 2 and runs through April 16.
Lenten Book Study
Each week during Lent, pastor Brian releases a short video covering a chapter of our church-wide study book, The Way, by Adam Hamilton. You can view those videos here:
Holy Week Worship Schedule
Holy Week is the week when we tell the most important part of the Christian story – the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
It begins on Palm Sunday (April 10). Our worship will include palm waving and telling the story of the last week before Jesus died.
For Maundy Thursday (Thursday, April 14), we will be worshiping together with the people of Grace United Methodist Church (Manassas, VA). This service will take place at 7:30 PM at Grace UMC (9750 Wellington Rd, Manassas, VA 20110). This communion service with reflections on Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, the Last Supper, and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This worship service will also be available online.
For Good Friday (April 15), we will have a Good Friday worship service (with music, Scripture reading, and sermon). Online worship will be at 6:00 PM (and can be viewed after that as well). In-person worship will be at 7:30 PM at our Ministry Center (15000 Washington Street, Haymarket, VA, 20169, suite 206).**
For Easter Sunday (April 17), we will follow our regular weekly worship schedule: Online worship at 9 AM and in-person worship at 10 AM. The in-person worship service is also livestreamed. We will also host a sunrise service outdoors at Haymarket Elementary School (time TBA).
We look forward to celebrating Holy Week together with you!
** Our Ministry Center is located above Haymarket Town Hall. Enter through the glass doors on the side of the building (next to Old Carolina Road). Our Ministry Center can only be reached by stairs. If you are unable to navigate stairs, we recommend you participate in our online Good Friday worship service. The space is owned by the Town of Haymarket and we do not control its design/accesibility. We apologize for this accessibility challenge.
Devotional by Text and Email
For those who are looking to “go deeper” and really dig into the season of Lent, we’ve put together a devotional called “Jesus in the Old Testament.” We will be looking at Psalms (prayers and songs from the Old Testament) that show up in the Gospels and learning what these connections between Old and New Testament have to teach us about Jesus. These devotionals have been written by pastors and Christian scholars from throughout Virginia (and beyond).
A few times each week, we will send a link (by text and email) that will take you to the devotional for the day. To sign up to receive these daily devotionals by text, simply text “LENT” to (571) 487-8557. To sign up to receive them by email, simply send an email with the subject line “Sign me Up for the Lenten Devotional” to email@example.com.
You can find all of the devotionals (all those that have been published so far) here.
Suggestions for Practicing a Holy Lent
Lent is a time to ask forgiveness for our sins, think about how we can live more faithfully, and try out new practices. It has traditionally been a time of fasting (“giving something up”) but is also a very appropriate time to “try something new.” So, below we have offered some suggestions of things you might try to help you experience Lent more fully. Don’t try all of them (that would be overwhelming) – just pick a few that work for you and your family, or come up with your own practice. This should be challenging (we need to be challenged if we want to grow) but not so challenging that you quit after a few days.
Participate in the Haymarket Church online devotional. Text “Lent” to 571-487-8557 to sign up to receive it.
Participate in our churchwide study of “The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free copy of the book.
- In a time of war, violence, and anxiety, spend 10 or 15 minutes each day praying for peace. If you don’t know what to pray, simply repeat “Lord, bring us your peace.” Repeat it slowly. Perhaps make it a breath prayer – say “Lord” as you breathe in and “bring us your peace” as you breathe out.
Commit to reading two chapters from the Gospels each day. If you start with Matthew 1 at the beginning of Lent, you should finish John by sometime during Holy Week.
- Many LGBTQIA+ folks feel under attack recently, and LGBTQIA+ teenagers have a significantly higher risk of suicide than the rest of the teenage population. In the spirit of the God who loves and welcomes all of us (no matter who we are!), and in the interest of promoting a culture of life in which all children and teenagers get to grow up safely and well-loved, make a donation to The Trevor Project, and an organization that works to provide support, love, and suicide-prevention services for LGBTQIA+ young people. You can donate here.
Commit to spending 10 minutes each morning and 10 minutes each evening in prayer. If you already do that, try to pray for 10 minutes in prayer at lunch as well.
Write a letter to someone who lives far away. Tell that person about your life and about how much you care for him or her.
Share a meal with someone who is lonely.
Give up going out to eat at (or ordering takeout from) restaurants. Figure how much money you save and give it away to an organization that fights against hunger.
Do something really nice for someone who frustrates you.
Read Scripture for an extra ten minutes each day.
For most of history (and in much of the world today), meat was a rare delicacy/treat. Give up eating meat during Lent and learn about how most other people in the world have lived.
Don’t use any paper towels or napkins – instead, use only cloth products. Then, take some time to wonder about how much trash we produce each day.
Visit someone in prison, a nursing home, or the hospital weekly.
Offer help to someone who is struggling to pay his or her bills.
Cook a meal for a family who is overwhelmed and deliver it to their home.
Each week, take someone who is on a tight budget out for lunch. Have a good conversation and then pay for the meal (tip well!).
Write one thank you note each day to someone who has made your life better. Take time to think about unnoticed people (servers at restaurants, workers at grocery stores, people who make the things we use) and try to include them too.
Pray for your enemies each day. Include (among others) violent groups around the world, criminals in this country, people with whom you disagree politically, and folks in your family and daily life who you just don’t like very much.
At the end of each day, spend a few minutes reflecting on what happened during the day. List the times when you felt close to God, the times when you felt far from God, the times when you were faithful to God, the times when you were tempted to sin, and the times when you actually sinned. Then confess your sin to God and thank God for sustaining you.
Try tithing – giving 10% of your income to church – from now until Easter. See what happens.
Make a list of 5 people in your life who might need to experience more of God’s light and love. Pray for them each day and ask God to show you how to share God’s love with them.
Spend 10 minutes each day reading the news and praying over it – read the articles with an eye towards praying for the people involved, and ask God to show you how you can make a difference.
Take a true Sabbath each week – no work emails, no working from home, simply resting and caring for yourself.
Have at least one real conversation with someone who is really different from you (in terms of income, race, political beliefs, religious beliefs, etc.) each week. Take time to learn about that person. Then, pray for that person all week.