“What decisions have you made for the Lenten season? What are you hoping God will do in this season?”
This will help me pray for you during this season. I will also be sharing anonymously a few of your responses on Sunday.
The Season of Lent
The seven weeks before Holy Week are called the season of Lent. Lent is a season of reflection and repentance that begins on Ash Wednesday and continues on all weekdays and Saturdays until Easter. Since Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays that occur during Lent are not counted as part of the forty
days of Lent. The number forty is connected with many biblical events but especially with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry by facing the temptations that could lead him to abandon his mission and calling.
Fasting for the Season of Lent
Many Christ followers observe a fast during Lent to serve as a reminder to reflect upon our sin and the sufferings of Christ. It is also a way to enter into a cycle of mourning for Christ’s death and celebration of his resurrection so that by the time Holy Week and Easter arrive, the soul is prepared for the final week of mourning and the first Sunday of celebration! Appropriate fasts might include favorite food items or treats, favorite entertainment activities, or anything else that, when abstained from, would induce a state of mourning and self-reflection. It is best to fast from something you would normally have every day. Children under the age of twelve should not fast from food due to dietary and nutritional needs. More serious Lenten fasts might include one entire meal a day or meat on Fridays. The time that would normally be spent doing the forgone activities can then be replaced with acts of prayer, reflection, and charity.
This goes for every day except Sundays. Sundays are seen as mini-celebrations of the resurrection that is fully to come on Easter Sunday. On Sunday during Lent, the thing you are fasting from should be taken up again to celebrate the coming resurrection of Christ. Lent is supposed to remind us that we have no strength and no good thing without Christ. Therefore, we end all fasts on Sundays and celebrate his resurrection! It is also important to remember that our fast ends on Easter. We are not called to fast on Easter Sunday or after, since Easter moves us from a time of mourning and self-reflection to one of celebration!
I look forward to hearing about your preparations for Lent. I also look forward to our celebrations on Sundays. This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the fast. Happy Fasting!
Grace and Peace,