To Lent or Not To Lent?

Lent starts this week with Ash Wednesday. When I grew up, I had no idea that something called Advent or Lent existed. My church was a small town Baptist church where we shied away from anything that remotely resembled the "liturgical" church. Therefore, I knew very little about it.

As an adult, I have noticed that many Protestant churches have started to celebrate these seasons of the Christian calendar. For instance, it has become increasingly common for many Baptist churches to observe both Advent before Christmas, and Lent before Easter as a way of preparing for the significance of those holidays. Maybe its time to give Lent a go of it this year? 

Here are the Basics of Lent:
- The word 'Lent' means springtime.
- The practice dates back to the 4th century (at least).
- It's a 40 day period of fasting and reflection that leads up to Easter (minus Sundays, because you don't fast on Sundays. For a Christian every Sunday is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection. So, during Lent there's no fasting on the Sabbath, just feasting!).
- It begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends on Easter Sunday.

The act of giving up something during Lent is something that many believers practice. They attempt to break a bad habit or deny themselves something that they really want in order to identify with Christ's sacrifice. I have never been one to "give up" something during Lent. Instead, I often try to adopt a new practice—something that is not comfortable for me—during this season.  - Dick Bodhiemer

Maybe God is calling you to fast during these days. If He is, then take a break from social media, television, meat, or coffee to focus on Christ's sacrifice. If a fast is not in order for you, try especially hard to be kind, to go out of your way to be neighborly, or to stop and help someone in need. This, it seems to me, is a way to model the life of Jesus. 

Milo Wilson


Post a Comment