This quote is from a print that I gave away as part of a Lenten package on Instagram, and I think it’s a great way to approach our Lenten practices this year.
We can give up chocolate, coffee (your family asked me to tell you, “Please don’t!”), social media, our phones, or even warm showers (I’m not that strong.) The list is endless and each one is a worthy sacrifice.
Or our sacrifice can be an empty practice of discipline that does nothing more than help us get rid of a habit we don’t like. It’s more about us than it is ever going to be about God.
Our Lenten practices are most effective when we are purposeful in the point of what we do. When I fasted for Lent on year, I prayed for those who were hungry every time I wanted a snack. I gave great thanks for the bread and water that I had for breakfast and lunch each Wednesday, and I returned to my normal eating practices after Easter with a much better understanding of how everything that I had was a gift from God. My home, my family, my food, my health. I saw all of it with different eyes that saw God’s love for me more clearly than ever.
Are you giving something up this year? What are you replacing it with that will help you grow in love for Jesus? Are you adding something – a practice or a service? Will you do it with love in mind?
That’s the end result of Lent isn’t it – that Jesus loves you so much that He gives His life for you, destroys death, and opens the door of heaven? For you?
Don’t you want to be part of that relationship? I know I do.
What are you doing for Lent this year?
I recommend my book, Walking Through Holy Week. It’s not too late to order yourself a copy and discover how much Jesus loves you in a deep and personal way. Being a part of the story changes it forever.
Get ready to fall in love.