“What are you giving up for Lent?”
“I don’t know. We don’t usually give things up for Lent. What are giving up?”
“I’m not sure but it’s fun to see if we can make it the whole time.”
Growing up, our church didn’t really promote giving up anything for Lent. My friends gave things up and I looked at it as a challenge to “win” this little contest – who can make it all the way through 40 days without caving. I remember my senior year giving up chocolate. As the clock hit midnight on Easter morning, my friends met me with a bag of pastel colored Hershey Kisses along with brownies and a chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate M&M’s.
Woo hoo! I did it. I win! I gave up chocolate for 40 days.
But that’s not really what the Lent season is all about.
Lent is a time of solemn observance and preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up. Lent season invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death and body resurrection. (taken from Stewardship Services Ltd.)
As I have grown in my spiritual journey, I realize Lent is really about making a sacrifice that doesn’t even compare to the one Jesus made, but can remind us of His sacrifice every time we want to partake in whatever we give up.
This year I have been led to take this season with more seriousness in sacrifice and to once again, give up my favorite food and to pray, every time I want chocolate, for specific things I have predetermined need God’s intervention.
It’s not a game to me anymore. It is a way paved by Jesus not with M&M’s, Hershey Kisses and brownies but with a cross, nails and a crown of thorns.
Let’s take this walk together, one sacrificial day at a time.