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Keepin’ It Real During Lent

Wednesday, February 22nd marks the beginning of Lent. The word “lent” comes from a longer word that means Spring. It lasts for forty days and forty nights (not including the weekend) and is meant to be a time when we prepare our hearts for the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the time when we focus on repenting for all of the ways in which we know we have not followed God’s will for our life, and it is a time when we decide to make a change so that we can walk closer to God in the year to come. If we take it seriously, it can be one of the most important times that we experience each and every year.

There are many different ways to draw closer in our walk with God. One way is to spend this time making sacrifices in our personal life because we remember that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. We remember that he suffered, bled, and died for our sins, and so we can “suffer” a little bit by giving up something that we normally do. That sacrifice might mean that you “give something up” for Lent: your favorite food or treat; a certain favorite past time; you might choose to fast and pray during the daytime hours or just do a Daniel fast (no meat) around the clock. It’s all about creating the type of relationship where our will stays out of the way and God’s can take over. Jesus had that type of relationship with God and that’s what kept him focused throughout his ministry and all the way to the cross.

But “giving things up” is not the only way to draw closer to God. Sometimes you can draw closer to God by “doing more.” You might decide to increase your devotional life and start praying more often during Lent; you might start spending more time studying the Word of God; or maybe you might become involved in the ministry of your church.. You might even try to kill two birds with one stone and choose to give up a bad habit (that you know that you need to let go of) so that you can start a new habit that will help you grow in your relationship with God!

Each of us needs to look within ourselves and discern what makes the most sense for us as individuals. Each of us needs to make sure that we are “keeping it real” when it comes to our relationship with God and our spiritual walk. Lent is a perfect time to reflect on what’s holding you back from a richer and more abundant experience of God in your life.

As a minister and pastor, my only challenge is that we all commit to do something during this season that will move us in a new direction – towards God – or push us further along that path if we have already begun the journey. I ask all of us to start praying about that and to think about what commitment we can make. Like springtime on a farm, lent can be the season when we plant the seeds for the harvest that is to come. Let’s not miss this opportunity; God is waiting for us.

Posted in Pastor's Blog.

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