It’s that time of year again. It’s lent! What is Lent you ask? Let me tell you.
Lent, in some√?¬†Christian denominations, is the forty-day-long√?¬†liturgical season√?¬†of√?¬†fasting√?¬†and√?¬†prayer√?¬†before√?¬†Easter.The forty days represent the time√?¬†Jesus√?¬†spent in the desert, where according to the√?¬†Bible√?¬†he√?¬†endured temptation√?¬†by√?¬†Satan.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. Traditionally there are three practices observed during lent:
This day in age these three practices have evolved and usually consist of:
- Giving up a vice
- Adding something that will bring them closer to God
- Giving time or money to a charitable organization
Easter is a popular celebration and for most the true meaning has long been forgotten. Lent is an antidote for this, it is meant for us to remember the reason that Jesus came to earth and ultimately gave up his life.
By participating in lent we face our humanity and realize that we, like the disciples, would likely have fallen asleep while Jesus prayed in the garden, that we would have likely denied him as he accepted his death√?¬†sentence.
How can you participate in Lent?
If you are interested in participating in lent there are a number of things that can be done.
If you are interested in fasting below I have given some examples of what you can fast from:
Food: Meats, poultry (eggs too), fats and oils, soft drinks,√?¬†2nd helpings, Alcohol, Coffee (try tea or some other low-caffeine drink if you get headaches), dairy (milk and cheese),√?¬†solid√?¬†foods (only drink water or juices), Junk foods (chips, snacks, salty food), candy (plus refined sugar in general), and dessert (great√?¬†for kids√Ę‚?¨‚?Ěvery meaningful!).
Media: TV, movies, computer, email (set an autoresponder), Internet, magazines, radio, the phone (leave your cell phone off when appropriate), handhelds, video games, and other technology ….
Other Things: You may want to fast from certain relationships, or people in general, choosing instead to walk only with God for a period. You may also fast from social events, parties, or clubs, if you regularly go out of your way for that kind of gathering.
Days: Leave it all behind: leave junk food, TV, cars, noise, and all the media and messages of the culture. Pack the very minimum (water, warm clothes, etc.) and find a trail, a mountain, or a beach, and feast on God.
Imitate Jesus, who took whole days to walk alone in the wilderness fasting and praying …. Give God the time and the room that he wants. God wants to fill you up, wants to bless you. If we are constantly pouring other stuff into our heads or stomachs, there will be little room for God.
It is suggested that the time that you would√?¬†usually√?¬†spend participating in whatever you have fasted from, be spent in prayer and scripture reading.
You may also decide that this is a time that you would like to start, or increase your giving. This could be giving financially or giving of your time to a charity or church of your preference.
How ever you observe this time of lent it up to you, but remember this is a time to bring you closer to God and to acknowledge and be thankful for the sacrifice that was made on our behalf during the Easter season.
Do you observe Lent? If so, what are you fasting from this year? I’m not sure what I am giving up yet, but I will let you know!