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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Free to Practice Lent


For those of you who observe Lent, how is that going for you?

I loved--loved--this article outlining why we do and don't practice Lent. {This year, I especially appreciated the line that "Your whole life is Lent right now." YES.}

It's particularly important to note that practicing Lent has nothing to do with earning salvation or keeping the law. Because we are free in Christ, we are free to practice spiritual disciplines, such as fasting and tithing, not to earn favor with God, but as a way to become more like Christ.

And sometimes it helps to have a formal time set aside to practice such things, just as it can help center our hearts and minds to have a formal time to recognize Christ's resurrection.

So it's interesting to me when critics dismiss Lent as being a Catholic practice but would never dream of not having an Easter service at their church, despite Easter's Catholic origins. {And, of course, Lent is practiced by many Protestant denominations, so that argument is wrong on that count as well.}

I also like the idea of fasting from something in community. We don't {and shouldn't!} advertise every time we fast, but Christian community is central in the New Testament. To have extra support and accountability during this time from your brothers and sisters in Christ can draw you closer to each other and to Him.

So, even though I'm not giving up anything this year, I'm still trying to prepare my mind and heart to celebrate Easter.

With that in mind, blessings to you and your family this week and for the month ahead!

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous3/06/2013

    Lent is going well so far, praise God. Turning inward in a spiritual introspection makes my areas of worldliness more readily apparent when I turn outward again.. There are certain things which I have promised the Lord that I would attempt to do this Lent. Some have been easier than others for me. This morning I was holding up how well I keep MY promises against how well the Lord keeps His promises to me. So far, it's half-time and He's ahead...by a landslide! So, I'm listening to my coach, the Holy Spirit, Who has been giving me a pep talk; and I am going to play as hard as I can during the second half.
    Happy holy days of contemplation!
    Leah

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  2. I gave up Facebook for Lent and I don't even really miss it. It makes me think that I should just give up my whole Facebook account. Or cull my friend to about the thirty people I actually want to stay in touch with :)

    In terms of adding something in -- I've been trying to add in reading the Bible daily and it's been tough. Why is it so hard to make time to spend with God???

    I love the note from her priest at the end of the article. "Keeping Lent will not do [this, that, and the next thing.] Keep Lent anyway."

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    Replies
    1. I've made heavy use of the "list" features and bookmarked the direct link to the lists, so I don't get distracted by the main page.

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  3. Good post. I never really participate in Lent, but I have realized lately that I tend to fit God in rather than make Him first. My daughter gave me a lovely daily devotional called "Jesus Calling" and I plan to start each day reading from it.
    Ann

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