It’s Ash Wednesday today – the day that begins the season of the church year known as Lent. Lent is a time of reflection, preparation, and repentance as we move closer and closer to remembering Jesus’ death for us on the cross on Good Friday and to the joyous celebration at His resurrection on Easter.
It’s common for people to give up something for Lent. Chocolate, pop, alcohol, and even Facebook are popular choices. The idea is usually that you can deprive yourself of something that might not be all that good for you anyway and maybe replace it with something better.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving something up for the 40 days of Lent (Sundays aren’t included in the count). But rather than give something up, I’d suggest a different kind of change: Worship.
Commit to worshipping every chance you have from now until Easter.
Don’t skip a single Sunday. Attend Good Friday worship. Take every opportunity you get to worship with the people of God.
At six weeks, Lent is just long enough to make a habit stick. And this is a habit that will benefit you personally. This season at Journey, we’re looking at specific teachings of Jesus that apply to our daily life. We’ll hear Jesus speak to practical issues that we all face regarding the way we treat others, love God, and live as His followers. If there is any season of the church calendar worth the sacrifice of time and energy, it is Lent.
Your church will also benefit. For a church to be healthy, the members of that body need to be together. They need to gather, support, and encourage one another. Not only is it good for you to be there, it’s good for others. Lent is designed for renewal, and renewal is best experienced in community.
Of course, you can also give up chocolate or fast food or Facebook if you’d like. Christian spirituality is very both/and. But commit to preparing through Lent.