Monday, February 23, 2009

Lenten Fast

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. We begin the church season of Lent. Lent is a long practiced time of prayer and fasting that was started by the early church. In the Bible you find numerous references to 40 days and many contemporary churches have picked up on it with their own versions, as Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose, Community, and Love. Some churches and some Christians do not observe a Lenten fast. It's just normal time for most people. Of all denominations, the Catholics have adopted it to not eating meat on Fridays, observing Holy Days, but some Catholics still do observe a 40 day fast of something. For some reason I have always observed fasting and prayer during Lent. I try and give something up and take something on. I encourage our church to do so as well. Over the years I have become rather creative and have had lots of fun with my Lenten fast. In some respects, it has really become a challenge for me to place upon myself to help me become more humble, better connected to God and with Easter, achieve a mini victory of discipleship. I've heard of people giving up smoking (sadly, some only make it about ten days), some give up coffee, pop, food, sweets, etc. I have not completely decided what I am going to give up, but it will probably be a huge list of stuff as usual. I observe a Lenten fast because I know it strengthens my discipleship. Have you considered what you might give up? It is entirely up to you to attempt a Lenten fast. It is between you and God. So, what will you give up? If you have never done it before, just try it. The forty days don't count on Sundays, so if you want, you can just go six days, then let go of the fast. But of course, I always hold the 46 days of the Lenten season and then on Easter, the reward seems that much more sweet. Go in peace and go with God.

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