February 22, 2012

lent: it's not just fasting

every year about this time, you start to see people writing about what they are 'giving up' for lent. facebook. tv. dr. pepper. candy (ok i've been guilty of that one!). but to me, only giving something up leaves a huge hole in the spirit of the lenten season.

much like advent prepares us for the coming of Christ (symbolizing the period of time leading up to his birth, and now preparing our hearts for his second coming, and for the season...), lent, in a sense, prepares us for his death and his rising.

as we discussed lent last night, i told my husband that i had never once prepared for someone's death (that's often not possible), and specifically i had never prepared for Christ's. good friday (or black friday) has been a hard one for me the past few years, and i felt observing this day in a more serious way, really pushed me to know Christ more deeply. but i've never prepared for the entirety of lent. i can not help but shake this feeling of overarching seriousness and respect that this season begs.

traditionally, there are three 'justices' one practices during the season of lent. three. not just one that you get to pick out...three. justice towards God (prayer), justice towards self (fasting) and almsgiving (justice towards neighbor). so this is where the idea of fasting from something comes in. for facebook. or whatever.

sooooo, you want to fast from something for lent. that's not necessarily wrong, but when the bible talks about fasting, it's talking about abstaining from food, not abstaining from social media. when people fasted for lent back in the day, that meant they had no food from sun up to sun down, and when they did eat, they avoided alcohol and animal products. for forty days. that might seem too hardcore, but the reality is, if there's no sacrifice...you are missing the incredible blessing of the fast.

and just by just soley giving up something, or dare we say--fasting from it, we miss the other two parts. charity and prayer. so that's my challenge this year...to really and truly participate in all three parts: praying. fasting. giving.

join me?

i'm not going to write about what i'm doing because i don't want to put a 'this is how you do it' model out there. instead, i encourage everyone to seek out what this means for themselves. praying, fasting and giving. then, let's all meet back in 40 some odd days, and talk about how God has changed us.

and then, you know what?? we get celebrate the fire out of a death that has been conquered!

thanks for reading.


  1. Preach it, sister. Thanks for the encouragement! It's definitely easy to fast for the wrong reasons too. Just read a really cool and challenging sermon about fasting last night.


  2. thank you friend! i totally am familiar with that sermon, i am going to check it out again, tho!