Lent - What does it all mean?
March 6 was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is a period of 40 days before the celebration of Christ's resurrection. A time for prayer, penance, sacrifice and doing good service for Others. Lent is a special time for Roman Catholics, Eastern and some Protestant churches to prepare for this celebration - Easter.
This preparation period was established before the 4th century. Many various procedures have developed over the years, the practice of much prayer and fasting is eminent!
Prayer - penance: seeking forgiveness for transgressions and disobediences committed. Prayers for others, the nation and peace are given. Making time for personal prayer, reading of scripture and Spiritual growth.
Fasting - sacrifice: abstaining from eating meals, certain foods, giving up certain luxuries or enjoyments. Doing more for others and community service. The Catholic and some other faiths, have Spiritual works to perform and attend.
The main focus of lent is to repent of our sins, to renew our faith and to prepare for the remembrance and celebration of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection - for us!
As we enter into this special time of Spiritual season, Lord, open our minds to the darkness that abides in our hearts, To the sins of commitment and of the times we did not follow Your direction. Cleanse us. Help us to renew our belief and trust in You. Help us to be a stronger Child of God.
In Jesus' name, Amen
Leviticus 23:26-32, Numbers 29:7-11, and the above scripture tells of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) festival, the offering to be presented to the Lord and the procedure to follow. The Atonement is when God restores a relationship of harmony and unity between Himself and His people. We are reinstated by God's grace and forgiveness.
The reference in those scriptures to 'deny yourselves' refers to fasting. The attitude to be used during fasting is set out in Matthew 6:16-18. Fasting is to be an action between you and the Lord. Some denominations place an ash cross on the forehead on Ash Wednesday. Verse 17 of this scripture mentions putting oil on the head and washing the face as is reserved for joyous occasions. Spiritual fasting should be d joyous time. Fasting is not for all people, but shoud be studied and approached as a possibility.
It is not always food that is fasted, but sometimes an activity. A co-worker of mine with 3 children (ages 4-9) fasted the TV for more and better quality of family time. The following years the children looked forward to Lent.
Every day should contain a period of penance and sacrificing in service to our Lord.
**My challenge to you: read Leviticus and Numbers between now and April 21, 2019. These 2 Books will give you more insight as to the happenings of today. Also, ore understanding as to the ways of the Lord and His desire for us.