A Perspective on Lent

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I am an avid reader of a website that allows conversations between people about various subjects. One of the subjects I read was about a person who would be attending their first Ash Wednesday service. This individual had never attended one before, as they were raised in a non-denominational church that didn’t observe the Liturgical seasons.

They had heard a lot about “giving up things” for Lent, and they wanted to know what they should give up, if anything. I wrote this comment to them to explain my take on Lent.

In my opinion, Lent isn’t about giving up “things”; rather, it’s a reminder to sharpen your focus on the work of Christ. We carefully pay attention to Jesus’ ministry as He approached the Cross, and we take that same kind of care in examining the work that Jesus is doing in us.

Now, according to many group traditions, it is efficient to sharpen one’s focus by giving up various aspects in life: abstaining from certain foods, or stopping certain practices. The THING that is given up is supposed to be like an offering or a sacrifice.

I was not raised in a church, so I shared your lack of perspective about some of the more structured practices of the larger church. I’d encourage you to ask a lot of questions, and pay attention to the responses that your fellow pilgrims are implementing in their observance of Lent. It very well might become a deeply meaningful expression of your own faith as well.

I thought some of my readers might be interested in these Lenten thoughts.

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