Well said, Mr. Denison.
Why is Lent relevant for Baptists?
Three reasons for observing some form of Lenten practice suggest themselves, in ascending importance.
One: we need to live in community with the larger body of Christ. Since the vast majority of Christians practice some form of Lenten observance, joining them in some way is a good step toward solidarity of faith and ministry. This is also an important witness to others, answering Jesus’ prayer, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me” (John 17:23).
Two: we cannot fully appreciate Jesus’ resurrection unless we have experienced something of his sufferings. A fast of some sort is an appropriate means of spiritual identification with our Lord’s suffering for us.
Three: we need a period each year for intentional spiritual introspection and contemplation. John R. W. Stott said that he required an hour a day, a day a week, and a week a year to be alone with his Lord. We need a time every year for spiritual renewal. Just as students need a Spring Break, so do souls. Lent is a wonderful season for such renewal: as the physical world is renewing itself, so should the spiritual.
Can a spiritual discipline practiced for more than 17 centuries by the vast majority of Christians be irrelevant for Baptist souls today?