Is Lent simply about giving up soda?
Do you have some friends giving up soda or meat until Easter? Or perhaps you are going through a special 40-day devotional between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Within the Christian Church, Lent is the practice of re-focusing ourselves on Jesus and His sacrifice for humanity and creation as we journey towards Easter Sunday.
And we are now about 6 days into the season of Lent (if that is an unfamiliar term for you, here's a synopsis).
So have you decided to give up something? Or add something into your life?
Over the last several weeks, I have been reminded of the fact that Lent is so much more than simply a "Christianized" version of New Year's Resolutions. While giving up soda or social media are good decisions - the purpose of Lent goes much deeper.
Lent is about making sacrifices for the benefits of others and for drawing us closer to Jesus. It is about changing the daily rhythms of your life in order to spend more time with Jesus and to create more opportunities to help others.
So when you decide to give something up, create a way for it to directly help those in need.
- Giving up soda? Consider donating the money you save by not getting that 2pm Cherry Coke to a local food bank.
- Giving up video games? Maybe you can use that time to volunteer at a local community center.
- Fasting from Facebook? Every time you want to check your "News Feed", open up your Bible app instead.
And you can also decide to add something into your life to spend more time hearing from and talking with Jesus.
- Wanting to read more of the Bible? Try one of the devotionals in the Youversion Bible App where you have a daily devotional to read.
- Wanting to spend more time listening to God? Try the Pray As You Go app with their daily audio devotions (with intentional breaks to process the Bible passage they read). This is one of my favorite apps on my phone.
- Spend more time in nature (now that it is warming up) and go on walks and just listen to God's Creation around you and process with God the items weighing heavily on your heart.
Simply put, Lent is about prayer, fasting, and helping those in need.
So evaluate what you are focusing on for Lent - are those three items goals for you during this journey to Easter?
And you can start or restart TODAY. Regardless of what the last 6 days looked like, you can spend the remaining days between now and Easter focused on Jesus, focused on the needy, and removing unhealthy habits from your life.
So what are you sacrificing/fasting this Lent? How are you focusing more on Jesus and others over the next several weeks? Or how will you start doing that today?
Comment below and share with others how you are centering your life more fully on Jesus this Lent.