I am fairly new to the whole Lent concept. I was introduced to it a year or so ago. Got Questions?org gives this definition of Lent:
“Lent is a period of fasting and repentance traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations in preparation for Easter. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 40 days. During this time, participants eat sparingly or simply give up a particular food or habit. Ash Wednesday and Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves to repent of their sins in a manner similar to how people in the Old Testament repented in sackcloth, ashes, and fasting (Esther 4:1-3; Jeremiah 6:26; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21).”
It is important to note that Lent or any other Christian tradition or act of faith is NOT required in order to receive God’s gift of salvation. For some people, the motives may be wrong or they will be doing it because they were told to. For me, it is a time of reflection and a time to remove something from my life that is hindering a closer relationship with God.
Two years ago, I gave up Starbucks coffee. That was my addiction and I was spending a lot of money which should have been going other places. Last year, I gave up Facebook gaming. At the time, we lived in Okinawa, Japan and Facebook was pretty much our only communication to anyone in the states so I did not give up social networking all together. But gaming was taking up a lot more of my time than what I was spending with God.
I am still praying about what to fast from this year.
This year my church is doing the Ashes to Fire study. I’m excited to do an actual study to go along with fasting. It will be interesting to see how God moves in our church over the next several weeks!
Do You Observe Lent?
Why or Why Not?