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Question: What are you giving up for lent?
Better Question: WHY are you giving up for lent?

i have had a number of conversations with people concerning lent this year. and the one reoccuring theme is that they are trying to figure out what to give up that will be least intrusive to their lives. So they’ll give up Mountain Dew, and drink Coke instead. hmm… i even spoke to someone about fasting “in between” three meals a day. have we really strayed so far from understanding what lent and fasting are?

(fasting by definition is not eating food. some have tried to morph it into a principle of self denial, which is a good practice, but is not true fasting)

so God bops us on the head in Isaiah 58 concerning fasting. we are to fast so that we will share our food with the hungry, give shelter to those that need it, give clothes to people, take time to stand for justice, and help the oppressed become free. and why do we do this? because, as verse 8 says, our light can break forth like the dawn. so what do i do instead of eating? pray and read the Bible, right? well, that’s good, but it seems equally, or even more important that we act on what we know, spreading the life and love of Christ. we can shine the light and love and life of God by doing loving actions instead of eating. so i take the money i would have spent on lunch and give it to someone who needs it, or use it to feed someone else. i take the time i would have spent on meals and stand up for someone who needs a voice. and what if i spend even MORE time and MORE money on these kinds of things? how brightly could God shine through me if i just got out of the way and let Him? all because i skipped lunch…

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