the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter. It is a period observed by
Christians as preparation for Easter, involving fasting and penitence.
observing Lent in the fourth century, with strict self-denial and
self-examination marking the period. A central practice of fasting included the
exclusion of luxury foods like meat, dairy products and eggs. Today, Catholics refrain
from eating meat on Fridays during Lent.
There’s no Scriptural requirement to observe Lent—ultimately, it’s
just the six week lead-up to Easter Sunday in the church
calendar—but many Christians find it helpful and inspirational to
observe the Lent season in some way. Generally speaking, when people observe
Lent, they commit to a spiritual activity—prayer, Bible reading, reflection,
self-denial, service, etc.—that will sharpen their understanding of Jesus
Christ’s own sacrifice as described in the Bible’s account of the first Easter.
Besides fasting, Christians
may also voluntarily refrain from "bad" habits during
the 40-day period – anything from eating chocolate to watching TV -- as a way
to imitate Christ’s life.
Lent is 40 days to represent
the 40 days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert after he was baptized by
John the Baptist.
This year, Lent begins on
Ash Wednesday, February 18
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Lent—the season of reflection leading up to Easter—provides an excellent opportunity to embark on your own devotional journey.
Throughout the Lent season, I will be reading through some of each of these devotionals and sharing, here on my blog, some of the highlights from them. Feel free to use any of the above, or stop back here to read what I have to share. As I get started , and with this being Ash Wednesday, I want to just share a short excerpt of the introduction from the Christian Aid Devotional.
went into the wilderness, it was not an easy experience. For him, as for the
Israelites after their exodus from slavery in Egypt, it meant being vulnerable
to all the dangers of the wilderness: hunger and thirst, exposure to the
elements, with nowhere to hide. It meant being alone, with only God to turn to.
Isaiah, in a passage that is often read on Ash Wednesday, spoke
eloquently about fasting.
this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth
that what you call a fast,
day acceptable to the Lord?
not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,
set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will
be your rear guard.
you will call, and the Lord will
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I
How can we best respond to the invitation to
count our blessings today and throughout Lent?
May this be the fast we choose-
hold in our hearts the women who walk miles for water that we turn a
tap on for,
never take for granted the food that we eat, however plain it
complain less and campaign more,
share our bread in gratitude, that we have bread to share.
we count our blessings,
our giving, our acting and our praying that, just a little, they may
help to lose the bonds of injustice, to let the oppressed go
free, and to satisfy the needs of the afflicted. So
may all who fast share in the feast of life.