March 12, 2014
“so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly awaiting for Him.”(Hebrews 9:28, ESV)
Lent was never her favorite time of year. She had to give something up. It had to be carefully calculated. What could she live without that would be a sacrifice but would not severely impact her social life. In addition, there were all these other rules she had to follow. She never quite got the point of Lent.
Lent was one his favorite times of the year. Sure, it may sound awful to have to give something up and for the first few days, it is hard. But it quickly gets easier. And - bonus! - it helps declutter his life! He usually surrendered something that consumed large amounts of his time and was unproductive. He was always amazed at how much time he suddenly had. A portion of that time was dedicated to spending more time with the Lord.
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a celebration of the anticipation of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which occurs on the final day of Lent. With His resurrection, our sins were forgiven and we can spend eternity with Him, if we choose to accept His gift.
There are 40 days of Lent, not including the Sundays of Lent. The number 40 has several significant mentions in the Bible. These include the 40 days when God flooded the earth (Genesis 7:4), the 40 days Moses spent on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:18), the 40 days Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8), the 40 days the city of Nineveh had to repent or face destruction (Jonah 3:4), and the 40 days Jesus spent being tempted by Satan in the desert to abandon His mission (Matthew 4:1-11).
There are many ways of celebrating Lent. Traditionally, Lent is celebrated through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Lent is a time to focus on prayer and repentance, seeking forgiveness of sins in anticipation of the Second Coming. Fasting occurs in many different ways. Some churches observe a rigid fast on certain days of Lent, which includes giving up meat, alcohol, sweets, and other types of food. Some Christians choose to fast in their own way. They give up something that they do regularly, such as eating fast food or desserts, abstaining from social media such as Facebook and Twitter, or not playing video or computer games, spending that time studying God’s Word instead. Some churches focus more on almsgiving, doing good deeds for others, specifically those in need, than on fasting. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, it should mean something to do you and act a way to bring you closer to your Savior.
How will you celebrate the season of Lent?