Read or summarize Matthew 4:1-11.
Ask students, How many of you have heard of Lent?
What is Lent?
Lent is the 40 days before Easter, and it starts with Ash Wednesday.
Have any of you heard of someone giving something up for Lent? What kinds of things have you heard of?
Other times, instead of giving something up for Lent, people will try to do something good every day for Lent.
They either give something up for the 40 days of Lent or they try to add something that they're doing for the 40 days of Lent.
Why do you think people do that?
When people give something up, or add something, it reminds them of the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert. Jesus fasted - He didn't eat - for 40 days. So people give something up, or add something for 40 days to be like Jesus.
And do you know why Jesus fasted for 40 days?
Jesus was using that time to get ready to start teaching people. He was focusing on God so that when those 40 days were over, He would be ready to start doing what God wanted Him to do.
And that's why we celebrate Lent too. We do something special during Lent, like giving something up or adding something good to our day, to show that we're getting ready to be used more fully by God. We're focusing on God for those 40 days so that we can better learn to do what He wants us to do.
Let's pray about that.
Sample prayer: Father God, we thank You for Jesus' example of how He spent 40 days focusing on You and getting ready to do the mission You gave Him. We pray that You would help us to especially focus on You during these 40 days of Lent so that we'll be ready to serve You better and do whatever work You have for us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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