It's That Time Again!
It seems like we just finished celebrating Christmas and the start of a new year, and we did! But, in a few weeks, Lent will be upon us and it is once again “that time”! The time we think about the things we need to give up or stop doing.
Lent is often a time when we become negative or depressed as well. The focus is usually on our sin and our need for repentance. Often, this time of reflection and of course, the cold dreary weather, becomes a time when it is hard to remain cheerful and excited about our faith. This call to repent and cleanse ourselves from sin is very important, however, it is not the only discipline of Lent in which we are encouraged to participate. Within some Ash Wednesday liturgy is the statement, “As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor. Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love – the discipline of Lent – help us to wage our spiritual warfare.”
Some Christians “give up” certain foods for Lent, which is a type of fasting, while others add more prayers to their daily life as part of their discipline. But what do we do with the “works of love” statement? This year during Lent, let that be part of our focus. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16.
Remember that “works of love” refers to action – “14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17
So as we approach the beginning of Lent on February 10, give some thought to not just what you can give up for Lent but rather, what can you DO for Lent.