Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. If you’re not familiar with what Ash Wednesday is, Wikipedia has a great explanation. Basically, though, it is the beginning of Lent, falling 46 days before Easter. Lent lasts for 40 days, and does not include the Sundays because they are mini resurrection celebrations. In liturgical churches it is common for Christians to fast during Lent. What most people don’t realize is that a fast can be living without something, or it can be adding something in. The purpose of the 40 days of Lent is to spend time slowing down, in a sort of 40 day long Sabbath, focusing more on God and less on the “stuff” of the world. By fasting from things we draw our attention back to God. I have always loved that the church sets aside this time, because usually around when Lent begins my life is beyond busy and I’m really starting to feel the consequences of that. Let beckons me to slow back down.
Most years we do a family fast in addition to our personal fasts. We choose something to fast from as a family. One year we did TV! That was HARD, but I’m glad we did it. This year we haven’t fully decided yet (we better hurry!), but we’re talking about facebook or eating out. I think we’ll probably end up with eating out. Whatever we do, we’ll do it together to build family unity
Personally, I’m not really sure what I want to fast from. I do want to add it some additional Sabbath practices, and spend more time just being with God. Our church has an hour of silent prayer on Wednesdays, and that is sort of a Sabbath hour, so I’m thinking I may go to that every week during Lent. Other than that, I’m not sure for my personal fast. Maybe you all have some ideas! I hope so!
You don’t have to belong to a liturgical church to participate in the practice of fasting for Lent. It really has nothing to do with the church you attend, it’s all about you and God. So, if you’re not in a liturgical church, I hope you’ll consider fasting for Lent. I think you’ll learn some things about yourself, and draw closer to God.
If you’re fasting for Lent, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment so we can share with each other what we’re giving up. I need some ideas!