The 40 days of Lent recall the 40-day fast of Jesus in the wilderness and the 40-day fast of Moses on Mount Sinai.
For many persons, Lent is a time to live simpler, to give up some things – maybe only for Lent – that will allow space and time for prayer, for service, for devotion to God and neighbor.
Giving up something – even for a time – can be a helpful spiritual discipline. Yet I think there may also be a Lenten call to take on something, to make a change where needed, to begin or renew a practice that has fallen away.
Is worship a regular part of your life? If not, this season of preparation is a good time to renew the practice of gathering together to worship God. Are our lives so consumed with getting ahead, with getting more stuff for ourselves, that we have forgotten the needs of our neighbor? If so, a Lenten discipline could be an act of sharing, of extending kindness to someone in need, or of letting go of an old grudge that we’ve nurtured for years.
“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” – Joel 2:13
John Dellis is the minister of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Ander.