So after a day of pancakes yesterday, Lent begins today! That period of 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday where we remember the time that Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights and was tempted by the Devil. We often choose to deny ourselves something during Lent as a way to realise our own weaknesses and grasp the intense significance of the crucifixion. It also gives us a deep and powerful longing for the resurrection and a joy on Easter Sunday.
Easter can often sneak up on us but by observing Lent we take a chance to remember the dark before the dawn, the sin that sent Jesus to the cross. Lent helps us experience our part in the Passion (or suffering) of Jesus. We face our humanity during Lent: we learn that sin still dwells in us, that we still carry darkness. We learn that we, like his disciples, would likely have fallen asleep as Jesus prayed for deliverance in the garden, and, also, that we would likely have denied knowing him as he silently accepted his death sentence.
This Lent I have been challenged (and so have challenged teh young people under my care) to consider denying myself some pleasure as a means to remind me of Christ’s sacrifice and prepare for the celebration of that at Easter. However, as well as NOT doing something, I also feel motivated by the challenge of Christ to DO something or GO someplace this Lent and stretch myself in my SERVICE to Him.
So for Lent i have chosen to give up 2 things i love very much - take-aways & the West Wing! The former will be a challenge to my weekly lazy eating habits and the latter will be incredibly difficult as i have just acquired the entire DVD collection and am currently in the midst of season 2! It was never meant to be easy! I'm just wondering has anyone else out there given up anything for Lent this year?