Although I do not participate in Ash Wednesday, as many did this past week, I do acknowledge the purpose of Lent. In the 4th century the early Church believers wanted to dedicate a time leading up to Resurrection Sunday to focusing on what Jesus Christ did for us by giving His life so that we might have life. They decided to start that time of focus 40 days before Resurrection Sunday since Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days before jump starting His ministry.
I get the people that give up things for Lent as a way of fasting and focusing on God’s love, goodness, and grace. What I don’t get are people who just go through the motions. I have talked to people who gave up meat for Lent and when I ask them why they literally just say “Because we are supposed to…aren’t we?” Why would you engage in a 40 day long practice without knowing what you are doing or why you are doing it? I’m not trying to judge, ridicule, or criticize anyone but here are a few suggestions, #IMHO, to get the most out of Lent.
- DON’T give up anything for Lent if you don’t know why you are doing it. That isn’t called fasting, it’s foolishness.
- DON’T give up anything for Lent without spending time that would normally be used engaging in what you are fasting from drawing closer to Christ by reflecting on what He gave up for you.
- DON’T spend the 40 days of Lent griping and moaning about what you gave up. That just shows you don’t really understand what’s going on.
- DO celebrate and rejoice in the fact that whatever you gave up pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ gave up for you and that He loves you with a never ending love. Rejoice in that for eternity.