posted on: Feb 17, 2015
Wednesday, February 18th marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a practice that the global Church has subscribed to for centuries that runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday (40 days). Let me first warn you that it has played it's part in legalism. Many have engaged in Lent as a way of repentance or a means to wash themselves of sin. WE DON'T DO THAT! Our sin and shame has one solution, the Cross of Christ. We can never work our way out of our sin and shame, we just receive the free gift by faith.
However, Lent is a practice of denying yourself worldly pleasures as a way of remembering that we were created for another world. We are now citizens of heaven and we only find our true home there. By denying yourself worldy pleasures such as chocolate, television, that occasional glass of wine, etc... you are stating your homesickness and declaring that you long for your true home, Jesus.
We are surrounded by a way of life in which betterment is understood as expansion, as acquisition as fame. Everyone wants to get more – to be on top – no matter what it is the top of that’s admired. There’s nothing recent about the temptation. It’s the oldest sin in the book. The one that got Adam tossed out of the garden and Lucifer tossed out of heaven. What is new about it is the general admiration and approval it receives.
~ Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience
It's a season to rest, reflect and worship. It’s a season to put aside the things of this world to make more room for Jesus in your life. Perhaps it’s not about giving up chocolate, perhaps it’s about giving up business? Business is the enemy of our heart, it hinders our worship. At the heart of fasting is this belief that Jesus is more than enough. It's a counter cultural statement of saying, "I must decrease so that He may increase." It's stepping yourself down from being the center of your universe and rightfully acknowledging the true King.
If you choose to engage in Lent, please don't make the error of trying to earn anything from God. On the other hand, please do push things aside to make more room for delighting in Jesus. It can be a beautiful season that prepares our hearts to celebrate the death and resurrection of our King.
May our LORD richly bless you in this season,
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