Dear Baptist Spirituality readers,
Lent is coming up rather quickly. It begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd.
Lent is the time in which we follow Jesus into the wilderness and place our trust on God in a renewed spirit of faith. It consists of 40 days (Sundays not included) that lead up to Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter). These 40 days echo Jesus’ time in the wilderness.
It was there that Jesus faced several temptations, all of which sought to throw doubt on Jesus’ dependence upon God. Satan told Jesus that he, Jesus, did not have to rely on God. Jesus could be powerful, even avoiding death on the cross. Jesus could satisfy his own longings by joining Satan’s forces on earth rather than ascend to His heavenly Father. Jesus could test God and take the short-cut to become an earthly, divine messiah bent on war and conquest over Rome.
“Worship me,” Satan said, “And all the kingdoms of the earth shall be yours.”
Jesus, of course, resisted all three temptations. “Humans,” Jesus told Satan, “Do not live on bread alone, but on every Word of God.”
How easy it is to turn stones into bread! We, too, are asked to give up something or change something drastically–in a spirit of repentance–in order to follow this path of self-sacrifice and abandonment.
Every year, I hear lots of ideas about what people are doing for Lent. Some folks fast this or that; others do something extraordinary to help their spiritual growth. Yet others take remarkable, if not unusual, steps to help them get closer to Christ.
I’d like to know what you are doing this year during Lent. What are things from which you will fast? What books or devotionals are you reading? What prayers or internet resources will help support your Lenten journey?
Please leave a comment on this thread, and let us know! Perhaps your ideas will inspire those of others!