Lent provides a season of opportunity, not obligation.
For the past 1,700 years — yes, quite a while! — Christians have observed 40 days of fasting prior to Easter. The specific fast has changed from era to era, place to place, and even person to person.
I’ll say much more about Lent next week. But for now, two things…
First, next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and therefore the start of Lent. If you’ve never participated in Lent, you might like to consider it this year. It’s a systematic way to create space for God to speak to us (if He so chooses). You have a few days to consider what might be a meaningful fast for you. Some well-used ideas include: soda, lunch, chocolate, internet access, news, sweets, or meat. I’ve also known people who quit social media or late night television for the season.
From an evangelical perspective (and evangelicals don’t have much history with this church tradition) the specific fast can vary. What matters most is that whatever we choose to abstain from be something that represents some frequency in our lives and therefore provides a regular reminder and call to prayer.
Second, this year (as with the past five years) I plan to blog each day of Lent, Lord willing. I’d love to have you share the Journey. I intend to do something a different his year — Jesus Questions. I have a friend — Sam Gutierrez — who published a helpful little volume by that title a year ago. You can find it here for just $5. Each day, I intend to draw a fresh question that Jesus asked in the Gospels, and ponder (with you) how the Lord may still speak through it to us today.
So … consider this a reminder and an invitation. 🙂
I’m grateful for this online community and your part in it. May Lent 2017 pave the way for deeper intimacy with Christ and greater transformation within ourselves.
Because of grace.