by Toni Crosby
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, ending on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Christians observe Lent as a period of reflection on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. While the crucifixion was a period of sorrow and suffering, it prepares us for the joy of the resurrection celebrated on Easter Sunday – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
The observation of Lent traditionally includes Bible study, daily devotionals and periods of fasting. Fasting gives us an opportunity to have closer communion with Jesus. Clearing our lives of daily distractions will enable to more clearly hear Him as He speaks to us through His Word.
Fasting means abstaining from some of the things that we enjoy in order to get closer to God. You may choose to give up certain foods (i.e., sweets, chocolate, caffeine,), tv shows, movies, social networking, internet, radio, music, or sleeping less. You might abstain from a different one of these for each week of Lent, or you might give something up for the entire 46 days. Fasting could also mean giving up one meal per day for the length of time you choose. Of course, the idea is to sacrifice something you really enjoy, not something you don’t like!!
The following is a suggested schedule for the observation of Lent – you might choose to approach in a different way. Whatever way you observe Lent, make it a time of spending time in the Word, meditation, and close fellowship with the Father through prayer.
Week 1: March 6 – 12
Action: Fasting from food
Week 2: March 13 – 19
Theme: Recognizing and Responding to God’s Love
Action: Fasting from TV/Movies
Week 3: March 20 – 26
Theme: Recognizing Christ for Who He Is, and the Cost of Following Him
Action: Fasting from Social Networking/Internet
Week 4: March 27 – April 2
Theme: Praying as Jesus Taught
Action: Fasting from Caffeine and Sweets
Week 5: April 3 – 9
Theme: Humility Before God
Action: Fasting from Radio/Music/Electronic Media
Bible Readings: Luke 18:9-17
Week 6: April 9 – 16
Theme: Suffering and Triumph of Christ
Action: Fast from sleep – get up early or go to bed late: spend extra time in Bible Study & Prayer