As you all probably know Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, “fortieth”) is the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter.
As a child growing up Lent seemed like something Christians just “did” every year. I never knew the meaning of it, or why thousands upon thousands of Christians around the world gave up TV, The Internet, ___ fill in the blank. I never really understood why for 40 days people would give up something that they enjoyed or liked (it almost seemed rather silly). It wasn’t until I was a little more mature in my faith that I began to understand the meaning, and reason behind our prayers, fasting, and sacrifices.
Lent isn’t just a season or a “thing we do,” it’s an idea. And like all ideas, it has power. The idea of lent is to set aside ourselves, to right ourselves before God, and to sacrifice only a fraction of what Jesus gave for us. It’s a corporate time for the Body of Christ to deny the worldly give penance for our sins.
So as we enter Lent let us examine some of the things we are practice.
Fasting/Self Denial: Fasting during Lent helps us deny our fleshly yearnings and focus on God. Fasting is a time where we can see God with so much more clarity. God tells us to rend ourselves completely to him with everything we have, not just to give up our garments (or food/luxuries) but our hearts as well.
Joel 2:12: “Yet even now,” the Lord says, “return to me with all your heart – with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your garments!”
Jonah 3:5: “the people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.”
Daily Prayer: I find that praying daily during the Lent season, not only refocuses my heart and mind, but also develops the discipline needed to continue in daily prayer after the Lent season has passed. Prayer is mandated to us in the Bible; it is our one way ticket to God and his Power, and while we are consecrating ourselves it is even more powerful.
Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Ephesians 6:18: “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
As we focus ourselves, may God keep you and bless you.
Check back here tomorrow and throughout the Lent season as camp staff, volunteers, campers and alumni share daily devotions.