"He is not here. He has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28:6
I have been contemplating this post all day long.
I sat down to write it, thumbed through my Google Reader first
and saw that Erin took most of the words right out of my mouth.
You see, I was raised Church of Christ.
The practice of Lent is not one of our religious traditions, so to speak.
I have, for years thought that it seemed like such a lovely, ceremonial time.
A time to GIVE UP some vice, luxury, indulgence or practice.
As I've gotten older, I've been able to step outside of my "religion" and focus more on FAITH.
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. I believe that He paid a debt that I could never pay.
I believe that His great sacrifice gives me hope of eternal life in Heaven with him one day.
Lent, by definition is "a time of sacrifice for Jesus."
It's not Catholic. Or Methodist. Or Protestant. It's not black or white.
It is a Christian tradition. A beautiful tradition.
I am planning to adopt this tradition for the first time this year.
I think it's a beautiful time to sacrifice, repent, and spend time in prayer.
When trying to think of the "right" thing to sacrifice I decided that whatever it may be
should also be something that if given up, or if tempted to indulge, I'd use that time, energy,
or moment to glorify God. If the moment (my kids) permit, I can spend that time in prayer,
or in the Word. If it's not a quiet moment, I can spend it outside, enjoying the beautiful Spring days
He's blessing us with and teaching my children about the glories that surround us.
Whatever the case may be, I want to tangibly sacrifice, but then tangibly replace that part of myself
and fill it with CHRIST. I have tried before to "quit" things (I'm talking to you Dr. Pepper)
and I am a weakling when it comes to giving in to something like that.
I never stick to a workout routine, a diet change, a true call to be better. I bend, I give in.
But, if I cannot make a sacrifice for Jesus from now until Easter, then what faith have I?
In fact, in moments of weakness or temptation,
shouldn't I be going to Him for strength and purpose to see it through?
I am prayerful that this is a time to refine me spiritually and draw me closer to Him.
I pray that I am a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend because of this time of sacrifice.
So... what am I going to give up?
I wanted it to be a true daily sacrifice. Something would require a noticeable shift.
So-- I am giving up Chick-fil-a, Target and (deep breath) Dr. Pepper until Easter.
If you had any idea how much this will affect my day-to-day
then you may or may not be picking yourself up off the floor right now.
What are your beliefs or practices for Lent?
What are you sacrificing for Jesus?