Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why I'll be Observing Lent this Year

Growing up as a Charismatic, evangelical preacher's kid, I always associated Lent with legalism and eating fish.  But a few years ago I was feeling like I didn't really grasp the joy of my salvation - you know...just coasting through life...taking most things for granted.  Most Sundays felt the same, and Easter was basically just a super-fun Sunday when I got to wear a new dress.  I didn't like my relationship with Easter and I was aware that I needed a wake-up call to remind myself of the magnitude of Christ's sacrifice.

So, I started researching Lent - the 40 days leading up to Easter - and decided I would try observing it.  I did my best to really observe it that year.  I went to an Ash Wednesday service (I stood out like a sore thumb unsure of when to stand and when to get my ashes); I learned about days like Maundy Thursday, Good Friday; and I fasted as best I could.  That year, Easter was markedly different in my life.  I wept in our services and my heart was full of such love, joy, and gratitude for what Christ had done for me.

I discovered that I need structure and discipline in my walk with the Lord, and that it is good to set aside times to fast and focus.  I've continued to observe Lent ever-since even though several in my community of faith seem to think it a bit odd.  For me, it connects me to the reality of the cross...to the truth that I NEED Him daily and to the joy of what He has done for me.  It has looked different every year, but I try to set aside 40 days to fast and focus on Him.

Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday, and this year I've decided to join Margaret Feinberg's 40 Day #LentChallenge of reading through the New Testament.  It's basically reading 7 chapters a day, and Josh and I are going to do it together.  Maybe you should join us!

If you'd like more information about this challenge, you can read all about it at Margaret's blog here.


Margaret Feinberg said...

Paige, I am so thrilled you are joining us for the #LentChallenge! I can't wait to hear what you learn this Lenten Season.

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