The season of Lent starts today. They are the 40 days before Resurrection Sunday on Easter morning. It is supposed to be a season of prayer and fasting as Christians reflect upon the suffering of Christ. We start the Lent season with Ash Wednesday as a reminder that everything turns back to ashes, that is nothing we have is eternal except that which was given to us by our Savior.
Traditionally this has also been a season to give up something. From fasting to abstinence, and from chocolates to surfing the Internet. People have given up something for Lent. The original reason was compassion. We give up something we enjoy as a symbolic act of compassion (com-passion = with-suffer or suffering together). But I’ve always wondered, how does giving up chocolates or desserts equivalent to suffering with Jesus? Is not eating meat or ice-cream an act of self-denial that reminds us of Christ and his Passion?
What we are called to remember during lent is not a seasonal practice. It is a lifelong giving. It is not about giving up, but it is about giving in to Jesus. For discipleship is not so much about what you do not do and everything about what you actually do. You can pick up your cross and follow Jesus while eating all the chocolates (dark, of course) and ice-cream (Gelati Cellesti, of course) you want. Because when all is said and done, the words we long to hear and “Well done by good and faithful servant.”
Come and discover how you can more deeply give yourself to Jesus. Providence church will be holding Lenten Devotions on the following Wednesdays at 11AM in the church.
February 25 – Are You Ready to Meet Christ? – Mark 10:17-31
March 4 – The Claims of Christ – John 8:51-59
March 11 – The Character of Christ – John 13:1-17
March 18 – The Resurrection of Christ – Luke 24:36-48
March 25 – The Meaning of the Cross – 1 Peter 2:21-25
April 1 – The Spirit of Christ – John 16:5-16