Lenten Challenge

Tomorrow (Wed, Feb 6) Lent begins. At our Missional Faith gathering last week, we spoke seriously about challenging ourselves to engaging in some kind of fasting exercise. I’ll speak more about this in church in a couple of weeks, but fasting is a critical discipline in the Christian life that is under-utilized in our own tradition.

The idea of fasting is not suffering for the sake of suffering. But the goal is to starve certain areas of our life in order to hunger more deeply for deeper things. As we break some of our habitual patterns and feel the struggle within ourselves, we are drawn to pray and meditate on areas where God is inviting us to grow.

I have chosen three areas that I want to fast. Two are food related and one is technology related 🙂

I want to invite you to embrace a 40 day challenge for yourself.  You may wish to fast from something in your life.  It may be that instead of engaging in a discipline of abstinence, you feel led to engage in a new spiritual practice, to renew Scripture reading, prayer times etc. A great example of a discipline of engagement is praying and meditating on the Jesus Creed for 40 days. You can read what that is all about here.

The key is that whatever you do, it should be Spirit-led and nourish a deeper hunger for God. This is not about manipulating God or making ourselves feel self-righteous.  By allowing ourselves to be broken before Christ, we find wholeness in Christ.

I’d love to hear from others who are joining this journey. Who else is in?

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3 thoughts on “Lenten Challenge

  1. We’ll be joining along as a family. We’re spending this week in prayer, asking what we should give up for Lent.

    I’ve also extended the challenge to the Grade 6-8 Sunday school class. This will dovetail nicely with our current project of working through a 4-week Bible reading devotional which ends this week. Overall, I’ve very proud how diligently the class has added daily scripture reading into their lives. I’m hopeful a Lenten sacrifice will continue to draw us closer to Jesus.

  2. I’ve decided to join in and have chosen a food related fast. This fast is only 8 hours old and already I’ve had to pray for strength a few times. 😉 It seemed like such a “little thing” to give up, but 40 days sure seems like a long time, now.

  3. I gave up chips for lent and I didn’t realize how much I actually reach for them as a snack. It’s only been a few days but I know it’s going to be a long 40 days. However, I thank God for the opportunity to consciously think about how to improve my spiritual life.

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