Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lent?

The season after Epiphany was too short. Now it's Lent already. Lent is supposed to mean spring. But Lent will end just as spring starts.

So, what do I give up for Lent? In years past I've tried giving up pop and chips. I managed to do it but was miserable about it. Is that the point of fasting from something?

This year I decided that instead of giving anything up I'll take up a few things. I'll be more intentional about reading the Bible (other than what I have to read to prepare a sermon), setting aside time for prayer (besides the anytime, anywhere prayers), and I'll add some physical activity into my routine. So:
  • I'll read the daily scripture readings suggested in my desk calendar.
  • I'll pray the Great Litany (LBW p. 168 or ELW 238).
  • I'll get out the skipping rope and get my heart rate up and try to gradually increase the time I spend at it.
How does that stack up to the discipline of Lent that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbour? Self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love? Maybe part of that is in there.

I'm preaching tonight about alms-giving, fasting, and prayer (Matthew 6.1-6, 16-21). Really I'm quoting a lot from Walter Wangerin Jr.'s Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God where he talks a bit about those disciplines. Maybe I'll slip some fasting into my lenten discipline. I don't know how, yet, or when. But I'll have to find some way to do it without it making me miserable.

Have a blessed Lent everyone.

1 comment:

The Unlikely Conversationalist: said...

Lent is what you make of it. I say don't give up something or take on something new only because you feel the need to be pious fro 6.5 weeks.
Sometimes the best thing in Lent is to just give up the 3rd use of the law (self sanctification) and find some peace.