Lent – what’s it all about?
Lent is the period of 40 days that takes place immediately before we celebrate Easter. This is a time that the Church has dedicated for us to think about how we can become more God-like in our approach. By that I mean it’s about thinking about the the choices we make and evaluating them using the teachings of Jesus as a guide to judge them. It’s about having a focus on our relationship with God and asking the questions:
- Do we make time for God?
- Do we treat others as God would want us to?
- Do we behave to ourselves in a way that reflects we are God’s child and made in God’s image?
To help us do this we are recommended to do three things during Lent:
Can we give more time each day to pray and spend time with God? Can we give 5 or 10 minutes to read a passage of scripture and think about what God is telling us through the passage? All relationships need to be worked on and prayer is the way we work at our relationship with God and keep it alive. It’s about giving time to talk and listen to God.
Fasting is usually associated with giving up some kind of food or cutting back on something as in a fasting diet like the 5:2 one. However here it could be about stopping or going without the things that could keep us from God. We can “fast” from negative behaviours that are unhelpful such as gossiping, swearing or complaining all the time. We could use it as a way of connecting with others for example cutting back on social media use, or messing with our mobiles and just be with the people who are in the room with us. There are many ways that we can fast. If we do choose to give up items of food, this can go hand in hand with the next lenten action of give.
Giving is about reaching out to others. This could be through giving to charity such as any savings you have made by fasting. It could be about volunteering or deciding each day you want to do something good to someone, finding little ways to do this.
If we start to do these things during Lent then by the time we get to Easter we will have grown to become a better version of ourselves. We are also actively living out Jesus’ call to serve as we become more outward focused and led by the teaching of Jesus. So this lent take some time to ask who is it that God wants you to be?