Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What is Lent?

I have always heard about people giving up things for lent but with a background in a Baptist church it is really something that is not discussed much. I have done some research the past couple of days over it. What is lent anyway? Here is what I have discovered. Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring". The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. Today, Christians focus on their relationships with God, often choosing to give up something that may be distracting them from the Lord or just something to offer as a sacrifice of self-denial. What a great idea regardless of what denomination you may belong to. What a great idea to focus intentionally on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by taking 40 days to seek, surrender and turn to the Lord with all of your heart. So, we are in on lent this year. I found a family devotional online for the 40 days and will start it tonight during our devotion time. Oh, the resources you can find on the world wide web. The scripture for today is Joel 2:12-16. It talks a lot about turning to the Lord with all of your heart. Not just on Sunday morning. Not just surrendering pieces of our hearts or lives that are comfortable or easy. The challenge from the Lord here through the prophet Joel is to surrender all of our hearts and all of our life, every little piece of it, to the Lord. Well, we are off. 40 days of intentionally turning our hearts to Him by remembering His great gift of life for us. God gave His only son for us surely we can take 40 days to give up something that may be holding us back or just consuming some of our time that we could be spending with the Lord. For me, today Facebook is going away. I really enjoy facebook. I love getting to feel connected to friends and family through this social media but today I find myself willing to give it up in order to help turn to the Lord with all of my heart. The devotional asks for your family to discuss and give up something too so I wonder what the kids will agree on.

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