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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture



Friday, February 28th, 2020
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Do you observe Lent?

Lent is the practice of giving up something for the 40 days leading to Easter. It is an opportunity to make a personal sacrifice, meant to draw us into deeper relationship with God.

Many times we give up cookies or potato chips, but forget what the real purpose of the sacrifice even is. Is it just self-denial, or is there something deeper going on? Why Lent, and why give up anything at all?

Historically, Lent has been called a spiritual journey into a spiritual desert. It is useful to understand that in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the desert is a place of betrothal between God and his people, as well as a place of spiritual battle.

So therefore the point of Lent– the point of entering the spiritual desert– is to build the betrothal relationship with God, and to face the spiritual battles warring below the surface of our subconscious.

Maybe it surprises you to think of our God-relationship as a betrothal, but in fact, throughout the Bible God calls himself our bridegroom, and calls us the bride. He wants to build intimacy with us, to speak tenderly with us. He wants us to understand how faithful, loyal, and steadfast his love for us is, and to fully realize that he is the provider of our daily bread. It is he who leads us out of darkness, and strengthens us in the midst of our struggles and battles.

That still doesn't answer the question of how giving up little things like candy or coffee really help us?

I like to think of it as religious exercise, meant to build spiritual muscles. We are training to 'run the race' more effectively. We are practicing the whole idea of sacrifice, so we can be sacrificial in generosity, in kindness, in patience, and in love.

So if you're not participating in Lent formally this season, perhaps consider other ways to grow deeper in your spousal-relationship with God. Take the time to build those spiritual muscles, to improve in your sacrificial love and kindness.