Today is Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of the season of lent, the countdown to Easter.
Lent is the forty days before Easter, a season where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.
It seems the western world has embraced the holiday of Christmas and turned it all commercial with Santa Clause, Christmas Trees, stockings and presents. But Christmas has it’s origins in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Then there is Easter, really the more celebrated holiday among Christians not because of the Easter Bunny and all the chocolate but because it focuses on celebrating that Jesus was crucified so that we might have eternal life. That’s a big deal.
Lent is a time Christians reflect upon that sacrifice. Some people choose to fast and give something up as a reminder of all that Christ gave up, others choose to take something on and serve.
Practicing lent, weather fasting or serving is an option not an obligation.
I find it fascinating what people decide to do…fast from or give up a meal or favorite food, chocolate, alcohol, cola or coffee, give up social media, TV or wearing make-up, dedicate time every day to prayer, take the money they’d normally spend on a favorite past time or indulgence and gift it to the less fortunate, serve, read a chapter of the Bible every day…
The thing with lent is that it’s personal.
Really it’s between a believer and God.
Lent is not about being boastful because it’s not being done to impress others but rather as a means by which God can leave an impression upon the believer.
I’m curious…do you practice lent? And what are some of your lent ideas?