Lent is often approached as a time of fasting; it is amazing I know Lent is coming because every fast food place I see is advertising its fish sandwiches. It is good to know that we still have an impact on the market place but this season is about so much more than not eating red meat or giving up your favorite snack.
Ash Wednesday is upon us, although most Christians don’t know what it is or when, it is often overshadowed by its gluttonous brother “Fat Tuesday” or Mardi gras. Ash Wednesday officially begins the season of Lent. The day is marked by attending a church and having an ashen cross placed upon ones forehead; it comes from the ancient tradition of throwing ash over ones head as an outward symbol of repentance before God. My favorite example of this is seen in the book of Job as his three friends mourned with him they sprinkled dust on their own heads.
Repentance isn’t something we hear enough about today, in my opinion. The Greek word we get the term repentance from literally means to think differently after. Today is a time to think differently, to change your mind about the things in life that do not perfectly line up with God. It is traditionally a day of fasting, which brings the body, and it’s normally sinful desires, under the submission of the Spirit.
Even if you do not go to church this morning to have ash placed on your head, think about celebrating this Holy day as you enter the Lent season. Take a moment more to pray to day, to fast, and to give to others.
Carefully and prayerfully consider doing something special for Lent; if you abstain from something make it meaningful. I know students who give up their time on Myspace and use it study God’s word and pray. I know people who give up eating out and give the money they would have spent to charity, and some people give up something to gain more self discipline, all of which are worthy causes. But this year carefully consider this season and how you will celebrate it.