Last year was the first time I “gave up something for Lent”. Having grown up in a Baptist and then Presbyterian church, I didn’t really know much about Lent at all except that my Catholic school friends didn’t eat meat on Fridays or eat chocolate in the month or so before Easter. It seemed strange, but sparked no further musings at that time.

In college, I read Richard Foster’s fabulous book The Celebration of Discipline, which made me start to think about fasting and prayer as more than just something that real fanatics would do. More recently, as a nursing woman fasting isn’t really a healthy option for me, so I wanted to do a sort of modified prayer and fast. In the end, I decided to fast from something that I had regularly and use that time to meditate on Scriptures and pray. I realized that this is exactly what Lent is all about.

Fasting is a way to focus on Christ and the sacrifice He made for people everywhere to have a right relationship with God. Giving something up for Lent is really fasting and preparing for the celebration of Christ’s death and victory over death and all evil in His resurrection – a time when many people who might be really in need of hope might be likely to look in the only place they’ll find the real deal.

So, again this year, I’m fasting and praying with a focus on family. Last year, I gave up cookies, which was really tough. This year is proving to be an equally well-chose vice: hot chocolate. Apparently, I have been drinking a cup of hot cocoa every night this winter and so now I won’t be drinking my hot chocolate, but I will be enjoying a time of refreshing and warmth with my God despite the cold around me.

Are you giving anything up for Lent?

1 Comment »

  1. Timothy said,

    February 8, 2008 @ 5:01 am

    Best wishes for a successful Lenten journey. May you emerge deeper in love with Christ.

    God bless…


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