Saturday, March 12, 2011

The New Lenten Fad

Are you Christian cool?  Have you joined the lastest fad in Christianity?  If so, this blog is for you.  If not, maybe this post will spur you towards more Christian excellence as you deepen your walk with Christ.

As I begin this blog post with a little jest, I am truly pondering the idea of a Lenten fad.  Like I posted earlier, this is my first year participating in Lent.  I will admit that two hours into it, I nearly cried as I poured Emma a bowl of MY favorite cereal.  I was immediately grieved that my flesh could be so weak.  David and I have been discussing Lent and its meaning a lot over the past few days.  Part of that is being the wife of a pastor, the other part is that I am truly intrigued by this journey.

Our conversations lately have been about what it means to deny our body of some type of food that brings us enjoyment so that we are reminded of need for a resurrected Savior and the hope that Easter brings.  We have spoken with friends and church members about what they have decided to give up like chocolate, sodas, sweets, meats.  This year seems to have a real hype about Lent.  Even a Burger King sign read, "Lent special, 2 fish for $2."

It is wonderful that we have decided to do a Lenten fast, however, if we are not taking up spiritual disciplines in its place we are simply skipping meals.  We will become merely an anorexic body of Christ, instead of a Bible believing, faith sharing, loving people.  This is a time in our Christian faith were we press into the heart of Christ so that we may know Him and may be fully known.  Lent is a time of sorrow as we repent from our sins, but it is not a time to solely sit and waller in the ash pile.  Fasting without incorporating prayer, scripture reading, worship, fellowship is powerless and of little use.  My prayer for this season of David's and my life is that we really begin to believe the things that we say and we make the spiritual disciplines (tithing, pilgrimage, fasting, prayer, Scripture reading) a daily part of lives more than just during Lent.  If all of the Christians during Lent truly sought the Lord, then we would be a powerful force that Satan could not reckoned with.  My prayer is that this is the year that Christians through down the fads and seek His face!


Melissa said...

Spiritual discipline of pilgrimage? What does this mean? Enlighten me. Good thoughts. Can't wait to get to know you better in a couple weeks.

Jessica Blackwood said...

The idea of getting away from your normal day to day life is important. It allows you to connect with God outside of your day to day distractions. Whenever you return home, you have a better appreciation for your norm. As well as, you may find some areas that need to be changed. The Christian church experiences pilgrimage through the liturgical calendar, such as Lent, or Advent. Other ways that we do this is through our voyages to the Holy Land, retreats, camps. There are evidences of pilgrimage in the Bible, both Old and New Testament. The Abrahamic faith traditions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all embrace the need for one to journey away from day to day in order to be refreshed and revitalized. The idea of pilgrimage being a Spiritual Discipline is somewhat of a new concept to me, but I love the idea of it. We see so many Christians get burned out because they do not take time for themselves to maintain the gifts of which the have been given. However, I do believe that burn out is also caused by lack of prayer, Scripture, reading, and so forth. I hope this makes sense to you. If you are interested, I can recommend some books.