Feasting faster

Earlier this week, many Christians celebrated the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday. One could argue that the celebration was actually the night before on Fat Tuesday. One could further argue that there’s nothing celebratory about Ash Wednesday. The point is that we commemorate the beginning of Lent, the season leading up to Easter, with a commitment to fasting or abstaining from a chosen food, practice or other observance from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. 40 long days of not eating chocolate, drinking soda or whatever you’ve chosen this year.

Wait a minute. 40 days? That doesn’t add up, does it? It’s 46 days from Ash Wednesday until Easter. So what’s the deal with the extra six days? It’s often overlooked in our practice of Lenten fasting, but Sundays within Lent are meant to be feast days. You can’t fast while you’re feasting! On Sunday you’re meant to re-embrace with thankfulness whatever you’re fasting from. We’re supposed to celebrate each Sunday like it’s a “little Easter.”

The problem

The problem for many of us is that we often choose to give up things that we need to eliminate from our lives anyway — too many sweets, soft drinks or even cigarettes are often the target of our fasting in an effort to shake a habit. The idea of the celebratory Sunday rings a little thinly when we consider giving thanks to God for our return to something that was hurting us in the first place.

The purpose

But we’re meant to approach Sundays during Lent with joy. We’d do well to consider fasting from items or activities that are worth celebrating upon their return. In any case, we can look to those Sundays with an attitude of hope and realization of God’s joy in our lives. If we’ve forgotten the practice, it’s not too late — we can learn to celebrate. We can find joy again.

Question of the day: When have you been surprised by joy?
Focal Scriptures: Luke 19:1-9; Luke 15:11-32; Philippians 4:4-13

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

comments powered by Disqus