Lent is always a special time in my Christian walk. On Ash Wednesday we worshipped together as a congregation, being reminded of our own brokenness and need for healing. The Lenten journey also goes hand-in-hand with the practice of Christian discipline, one of which is fasting. Fasting does not necessarily only relate to giving up a meal or food, but can be the surrender of anything. A little more about that later.
I find this year's fast extremely difficult. It has become blatantly obvious how I rationalize my commitment to God and how I negotiate His Lordship. I do not believe that I am alone in doing this, but this is why I am thankful for a season such as Lent - it is there to remind me of my dependence on God and what it means to be a Follower of Christ. Although fasting is difficult, I am reminded of the reasons for fasting:
1. It reminds us that all that we have belongs to God. We own nothing and we cannot lay claim to any privileges or amenities by virtue of our accomplishments, qualifications or identity. By surrendering something and longing for that same thing, my attention moves away from my own power to the providence of God. By fasting in this way, one becomes acutely aware of how God is at work in one's life.
2. Fasting highlights the way in which people, items or events start replacing God as Lord of our lives. How dependent am I on that which I surrendered? Can I truly not live without it?
3. Fasting reminds me that this state of voluntary need is a daily reality for many people around me. It makes me aware of needs that exist and makes me sensitive to the plight of those who find themselves in these situations.
Lent is there to refocus my relationship with God, my neighbour and myself. It is a Godly journey, and although difficult, is a journey that leads us to the empty tomb. This promise of new life has claimed victory over all that binds us and seeks to separate us from the love of God.
Pray for me as I will for you on this Lenten path.