Keeping the focus rightWe're nearly two weeks into Lent...
We need to keep the focus right...
Let's remind ourselves of Lent's original purpose...
In many people's minds Lent has become synonymous with fasting and the observance of Lent has dwindled to "so what are you giving up for Lent?" People seem to think that God wants us to suffer discomfort for 40 days and then we've earned some brownie-points in heaven.
But the original thinking behind Lent was the deepening of our faith and spirituality, not just making people jump through some uncomfortable hoops for six weeks. The basis of Lent was and always should be that we grow in our faith and our relationship with God and others.
Paul puts it all in perspective as he writes to Timothy who is a young man being mentored for the ministry.
While the giving up of coffee, sugar, or chocolate has become a key focus, we must understand that physical disciplines are not an end in themselves. The idea is that we grow spiritually through the period of Lent disciplines.
And discipline is the key word - the Greek word Paul uses for "Godliness" implies discipline, moderation, frugality, charity, meditation, prayer, and study. Godliness is an attractive God-ward lifestyle.
The idea around Lent is that we add and subtract to our lives so that we don't just move forward but God-ward. Our Lent additions need to do justice to:
- God (through prayer, reflection and action)
- Ourselves (through the creation of good habits or breaking bad ones)
- Others (through charity and kindness) (Remember that pIlgrim Tuesdays are "Initiate caring conversations.")
Today's challenge is this:
"What, are you going to consciously do to move you Godward as you prepare for Easter this year?"
|For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1Timothy4:8)|