Wednesday, February 17

Lent

Lent begins today. In the past, I really didn’t pay much attention to it. I didn’t attend a church that practiced it, so I just thought that it didn’t apply to me. But so many of the college students have been talking about it lately and deciding to “give up” certain things, that it’s gotten my attention. So of course, I checked out some info about it…

According to Wikipedia, “Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Conventionally, it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.”

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to focus more on God and on others, so Lent actually goes along with accomplishing that. So I’ve decided I’m going to participate this year. But in reading about it, I’ve learned that it is more than just giving up my favorite things – it actually has to do with adding things to my life too...It’s four-fold, and I think each part is equally important:

PRAYER – I already pray frequently, but during these next 40 days, I am going to pray specifically and purposefully for 3 people/things in my life (to be named publicly at a later date).

PENITENCE – Oh dear! I know I’ve got plenty of sin to be penitent about, and usually it’s easier to just hide under the bed until it’s those few quiet minutes right before communion! But not these next 40 days – I will be more mindful of my sins, and of repenting from them. It is so GOOD to have a God that forgives us!

ALMSGIVING – Traditionally, almsgiving is making voluntary contributions to aid the poor. I don’t have a ton of money or material goods to give the poor, but I think it should go beyond that anyway. So I plan to contribute something (time, money, labor, a kind word, etc.) to the poor (whether they are poor financially, spiritually, or emotionally) – and always in Christ’s name. That will be the challenging part: TELLING others about Christ when I contribute to their lives.

SELF-DENIAL – And this is where most of us focus, maybe because it hurts the most...??? I plan to deny myself of (drum roll please) sweets and eating out (And I am already thinking about the Cadbury eggs I have at home waiting for me...). This will not be fun, but I don’t really want it to be. Christ sacrificed everything for me, so it’s the very least I can do, right?

Wish me luck!

5 comments:

momyof3girls said...

Becky,

That is wonderful and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing! We should all practice this daily in our lives!

Tara

Tamara said...

I'm rooting for you, gorgeous. And for all the people you'll be touching with this already awesome blog.

T

Carol said...

Becky,
You have such a sweet, tender heart.

Thank you for the information on Lent. I especially like the "adding" part.

Carol C

Emma H said...

You can do it, Becky!

Merry said...

This is so thought provoking. One truly can be poor in other ways besides financially. Loving others the way Jesus loves us may cost us a lot, but the rewards are priceless. xo

Merry