Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Lent got to do with it?

So, growing up, Lent had absolutely no meaning to me whatsoever. None. We were not a church going family...to say the least. My knowledge of church activities was limited to being made to go to Mass Sunday mornings after an occasional Saturday night sleep over at a friends house. Though, I cannot remember ever sitting through a whole service...in fact, I DO remember being scolded by a man who must have been as old as creation itself for being too loud goofing off in the lobby of St. Sebastian's. I'm sure in reality, the man was not that old and probably a kind man...but my lack of respect for elders and such has left my mind to fashion him into an ogre of sorts. Churches were also good for things like weddings and funerals....though, I didn't go to a wedding until I was a teenager and no one in my family had a funeral service in a church that I can think of.


All that to say, as a Christ Follower for a few years now, it's easy for me to forget about Lent and the significance it can have to my walk with Christ. Lent is the 40 day period (not including Sundays) preceding Jesus' death and resurrection. It is a time for fasting and praying meant to remind us of Jesus' 40 days in the desert. I'm not quite sure why some denominations choose to emphasize Lent more than others...suffice it to say that any church (I hope) would honor the notion of sacrificing something to remind us of our Lord. Or take it a step further, ADD something that draws one closer to Christ.

What to sacrifice? What to add? Am I supposed to FEEL like Jesus did in the desert? Therefore sacrifice something extraordinary that will cause great discomfort? I tend to lean more towards sacrificing something that I will miss, but that when I miss it will cause me to pause and thank Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice...."He sacrificed for their sins once and for all when he offered himself." - Hebrews 7:27 Let's face it, nothing I could give up could compare to what Jesus did...so, yes, I could give up coffee for Lent but right around 4:00 when the caffeine headache settles in, I can't guarantee that my thoughts will be very Christ-like.

So, I decided to forgo sweet/unhealthy night time snacks. This serves me well in many areas...I don't need and dare I say no one needs all that sugar and/or fat sloshing around settling in to all available crevices all night long. Also, I happened to have ordered a bridesmaids dress one size too small... Though, it's almost a ritual to go into the kitchen and get something to munch every evening. I will miss it and I will remember why I'm grabbing some veggies instead of chocolate..."Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:57

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift." - 2 Corinthians 9:15
"I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God!" - Deuteronomy 32:3

What are you doing for the next 40 days?

3 comments:

Crafty P said...

mmm, good stuff, B. I think I'll save my sacrifices for my own blog post (should I ever have time to write it!). But I love the verses you reminded me of here, especially Deut. 32:3. I'm working on proclaiming the name of the Lord in all my sacrifices this lent and am working on making it the best lent I have ever lived!
Here's the one I'm pondering this morning, Philippians 3:18-21. Oh and one more Revelation 22:17, 20

Happy Lent!

Rebecca said...

I really liked this post. My step-daughters were just asking me about Lent last night and what I was giving up and I might just direct them here for an explaination! I always have trouble wording things and then I read someone else's wording and say, YES! That's what I'm trying to say!

I, too, am going to try to write a post on it, but it won't be nearly as good as this one because this one is good stuff!

Well done Rachel! And I'm sure Tina Turner is wishing she should have done a song entitled What's Lent Got To Do With It as opposed to What's Love Got To Do With It!

Courtney said...

I never really got into lent either (despite my dad being Catholic). I gave something up from time to time, but mostly because my friends were doing it to. I did give up soda once...and that stuck for a year or so, but oh well. Your post was great and got me thinking. I've decided to give up excessive TV (how's that for a vague rule?). I chose one show for each day, and that's it. (DVR is still key). I'm hoping this will free up some of my wasted time, to allow me to spend it with God, or at least my husband! Thanks for the encouragement!