Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of the season of Lent on the traditional Christian calendar. Not all Christians participate in Lent. Over the years many Baptists have refused because they believed it was a Catholic practice. Now, more and more Baptists are discovering Lent as a very meaningful spiritual experience.
Lent is an ancient tradition. The purpose is to encourage Christians to make a sacrifice that honors the sacrifice of Jesus and reminds us of what Jesus suffered on our behalf. If this is done with the right attitude, it can be a very meaningful way to prepare your heart for the experience of Good Friday and Easter.
A common way to participate in Lent is to give up something that you really enjoy during the period that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter. Sometimes people give up minor things such as soft drinks or chocolate. Sometimes people use the time to give up something more substantial, as a way to begin to quit, for example, cigarettes.
However we choose to participate, the important point to remember is that this is a time set aside to really pay attention to how Christ suffered for us. Every time you want a cola and don’t let yourself have one, you think of Jesus and what He sacrificed for you.
God created the pleasures of this world. If we use them in a godly way, God is pleased that we do use them. But God also wants us to remember that we are not made for the pleasures of this world. Jesus sacrificed His very life to save us. Can we give up something that will show Him our love and appreciation? That will help us learn the true pleasure of God’s kingdom.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC