Today is Ash Wednesday. Today Lent begins. Lent is a time designated as a time of preparation. Spiritual disciplines such as self-examination and repentance, self-denial, and fasting couple with practices such as prayer and reading and meditating on God’s Word to help us prepare ourselves for Easter.
Lent is often a time we choose to give something up. This is a form of self-denial. When we crave or notice what we chose to give up, we should draw close to God in prayer. We are reminded that we are dependant on Him. Fasting is another way we can deny self and draw closer to God. In the same way, when we feel the hunger we draw close to God in prayer and seek His strength. In one of the devotionals I read, the author wrote, “Fasting is an offering to God to overcome being and doing what we want so that we may be and do what God wants.” We become less so that He can become more.
Lent should also be about other things we choose to do for God. In today’s reading from Isaiah God calls us to feed the hungry, to care for the poor, to loosen the bonds of injustice, to free the oppressed. God is seeking a just and fair world, a world where all are loved equally and where all have enough to meet their needs.
You and I have a role to play in this world that God wants to see. Both personally and corporately we must be involved in healing our world. Us as individuals and our churches as a whole can do much to restore this world. Whether one person at a time or one issue at a time, God’s people must make a difference in this world. It is our call.
Scripture reference: Isaiah 58: 1-12