Lent is coming up tomorrow. I grew up in the Lutheran Church, so I participated in Lent as a kid, but never really understood it. I just thought God wanted me to stop eating food that I liked for a month. I didn’t know the reason behind what I did. A couple of years ago, I became a Free Methodist. The Free Methodist Church doesn’t technically observe Lent, but I have decided that I will this year.
I don’t know what your thoughts are about Lent. I don’t know whether you observe it or not, or if you’ve ever even thought about it. But regardless, please hear me out for a second.
Some people have gotten the principle of Lent wrong. It’s not about the practices or rituals performed during the weeks leading up to Easter. It’s not about all the delicious food you aren’t allowed to eat.
It’s about getting closer to God.
(Bonus: click here for a super awesome article about the principle behind Lent!)
I bet I know what you’re thinking. “Sweet, now I can still eat good food during Lent!” Yeah, it’s not quite that simple. Regardless of whether or not you do celebrate Lent, I really encourage you to fast during this time. If you don’t know, a fast is defined similar to Lent. It’s when you give up something (usually food) for a certain period of time in order to get closer to God. However, there’s a very interesting part of the Old Testament about fasting (which also applies to Lent);
“Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loosen the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” – Isaiah 58:5-7.
That’s pretty convicting, isn’t it? Lent, or any type of fasting for that matter, has strayed far from this definition. We have been so caught up in the formality of fasting that we have forgotten about God’s instruction! It’s about time that we get back to God’s design for worshipping Him.
I’m challenging you to participate in a different type of Lent. One where we give to those who are in need. One where we spread kindness to the hurting depths of the world. One where we break the chains of pride and selfishness and open up our hearts to let the love of Christ pour out onto others. I’m proposing a season of Lent that becomes a season of giving.
There are 46 days in Lent, and in the attachment below, there are 50 ideas for acts of kindness. If you want to level up your lent this year, I would totally recommend completing one of these acts for every day this month. I truly believe we can worship God, draw closer to Him, and bring light to this world, simply by participating in a different kind of Lent.
Check out this link for 50 acts of kindness ideas for the Lent season- 50-acts-of-kindness-ideas
P.S.- I will be sharing my own journey with this “different kind of Lent” on my Instagram page, so if you want encouragement and ideas along the way for this challenge, you can check out my Instagram @wonderfullygirls– https://www.instagram.com/wonderfullygirls/
Let me know if you will be participating in this challenge! If you have any other ideas for acts of kindness, please share them in the comment section below!