Today is “Fat Tuesday”, the day to party hardy before Lent begins. In our group Bible study last night, I enjoyed this definition for Lent: The purpose of Lent is to prepare our hearts for receiving God’s love, culminating in Easter. In order to be able to “Grasp!” the love of Christ, we must first release our grip of what is taking its place (false idols that temporarily use to meet a need). Thomas Aquinas said, “Every affirmation is also a relinquishment.” What is God inviting you to release for a season to recognize His love in a greater way?

Does your church do anything for Lent? I know that some congregations almost ignore this season of the church year and others dive in, including the use of purple cloth for vestments.

Last night, I asked the question at our community group Bible study, “Have you ever given anything up for Lent?”. I was surprised by the responses. Our group is made-up of people who grew-up in different churches. The large majority said, “No.” They didn’t find the idea of sacrificing something to be of any particular interest or much value. One person who has practiced it also suggested that in addition to giving something up for Lent, one could try putting something on. For example, trying a new prayer discipline.

I’m curious to hear what some of your past experiences have been and what you find most meaningful. Is anything being planned for your congregation for Lent this year?

Blessings to you!