The Season of Lent
Monday, February 19, 2018, 12:00 AM - Friday, March 30, 2018, 12:00 AM
The Season of Lent
In our world today, it is easy to get lost in the cultural expectations of Easter and miss out on the meaning. Lent is a reminder that the resurrection only occurred after the crucifixion. Rather than skipping over the ministry and crucifixion of Christ, Lent is a season to prepare ourselves for the joy of Resurrection Sunday as we enter the sorrow and pain which preceded it.
Lent may be new to you, or you may already be familiar with the season and practices included. Since this may be new to most of you and since it is new to our church, we have provided some ideas on fasting during the season of Lent. The purpose is to deprive ourselves of earthy things and feed upon spiritual things. So the idea is to take some things that you may normally do and replace those things with a time of prayer and Bible reading. The point is we want more of God in us and less of the world.
While Lent officially starts on Ash Wednesday, however, we are suggesting starting on February 19th and continuing until Good Friday, March 30th. This is a full 40 days, as Jesus fasted in the wilderness.
Fasting Ideas for Lent*
Week 1 (Begin Feb.19): FAST FROM FOOD
"Consider fasting from lunch this week and spending that hour in prayer, reading the Word or praising the Lord through music. Or choose a specific type of food—candy, soda, meat, etc.—to fast from for the week. Or choose one day to fast from dawn until dusk, again spending the time you would usually be eating to sit in God’s presence."
Week 2 (Begin Feb. 26): TELEVISION AND MOVIES
"This week, think about unplugging your televisions or devices and spending that time soaking in the Lord’s presence. If your family typically watches a show or movie together, consider exchanging that hour or two each day to open God’s Word, pray and discuss the reality of sin in our hearts and in our world."
Week 3 (Begin March 5): SOCIAL NETWORKING & INTERNET
"As we continue in the season of Lent, think about exchanging the time you would normally scroll through social media or browse the internet for a time of intentional prayer, Bible reading or worship. Consider staying off certain platforms at certain points of each day or for the entire week, deleting the apps off your device or blocking those websites as you fast."
Week 4 (Begin March 12): CAFFEINE AND SWEETS
"Consider fasting from your favorite caffeinated beverages or candy this week. Think about placing sticky notes with Scripture or prayer requests on or near where you keep those items so you are reminded to refocus your heart and mind on the Lord throughout the day. Consider setting aside the money you would typically spend on those beverages and pray about where you could give it to help those in need."
Week 4 Alternative (Begin March 12): RADIO, PODCASTS & MUSIC
"This week, consider trading your favorite podcast or your daily dose of music or talk radio for silence and solitude. Instead of turning on something when you get in the car, use this time to ask God to fill your heart and mind with His presence and to hear His voice more clearly. Consider choosing a few verses to memorize and use the time you’d normally spend listening to music, the radio or a podcast in thoughtful meditation of God’s Word."
Week 5 (Begin March 19): SHOPPING FOR NON-ESSENTIALS
"Consider fasting from shopping for anything that is not absolutely necessary this week. Reflect on the ways that God has provided for your every need. You could choose to start a list of God’s provisions in your life, spend time praying for God to help you remember that He is your ultimate sustainer and giver of life or find small ways to be generous toward others in gratitude for what the Lord has given to you."
Week 6 (Begin March 26): SLEEP
"As we approach the end of Lent, think about getting up an hour earlier than usual or staying up an hour later to intentionally spend time with the Lord. Whether that be in prayer or confession, consider giving up a portion of your sleep to focus your heart and mind on God, specifically the passion of Christ."
*These ideas were used with permission from The Village Church, Dallas, TX.