We are into the Lent season already! Lent is a season of preparation and repentance during which we anticipate Easter. Of course, the death and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of our faith and the good news of the Gospel. Just as we carefully prepare for big events in our personal lives, such as a wedding or graduation, confirmation or baptism, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
The practice of a forty-day preparation period began in the Christian church during the third and fourth centuries. The number forty carries biblical significance based on the forty years Israel spent in the wilderness and Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness which we talked about last Sunday. The forty days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday and continue through holy week, not counting Sundays.
To help us prepare for remembering Christ’s death and celebrating his resurrection, we are walking through a 6 week series called Follow Me, which focuses on spiritual practices. Spiritual practices are means through which we “keep company” with Jesus. Last Sunday, we looked at fasting. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days as a way to prepare and build spiritual strength before beginning his ministry. Perhaps fasting is a practice you can incorporate this season as you prepare for something in your life. A big decision, a life change… fasting, from whatever it is that you choose, helps remind us that our true sustenance is God.
Give fasting a try this season, even if it is for a day or a couple of days. See what changes in your relationship with God. See how your spiritual strength increases. I would love to hear your experiences. I am excited to continue looking at more spiritual practices with you this season as we journey toward Easter together. See you all soon and bless you!