Today is Ash Wednesday, and therefore the beginning of Lent. I’ve observed Lent for probably five years or so now, and am glad to see more Protestants engaging in it. Though none of us really enjoy depriving ourselves, it is a wonderful opportunity to set aside time to repent of your sins, grow as a Christian, acknowledge your dependence on God and learn more about what He has in store for your life.
For 2013, the item I’ve chosen to abstain from during these 40 days is a line item on my budget that has become a bit of a weakness for me. So I decided to give it up, and then donate that money after Easter.
I also think it’s kind of neat that Lent begins right around the time of Valentine’s Day this year. Participating in Lent is an act of love, in my opinion. It’s a way to recommit to God and express that you desire for your dependence to be on Him rather than yourself. We profess to love a lot of things—people, pets, movies, food, clothes—but how much and how well do we actually love any of them? Nothing remotely compares to God’s love, and Lent is one way to renew that bond, especially as it culminates in God’s ultimate act of love: giving His son for our sins.
No doubt, those of us participating in Lent will be tempted in some way to break our vow over the next 40 days. It is at those times we must cling to the reason we began this journey in the first place. And it is the reason we need our church family to stand beside us. We were never meant to do it alone.
So, if you are taking part in Lent this year, know that I’ll be praying for you. I hope you’ll do the same for me. And may God bless us for committing our lives to Him, 40 days at a time.
If you aren’t very familiar with the Lenton season, and would like a more thorough explanation, check this great article I came across recently.