Our Season of Lent

    Fasting Benefits of Body, Mind, and Spirit

    LUMC Lent          The 40 days of Lent are from Ash Wednesday (February 17) till Easter.  These 40 days reflect Jesus’ fast of 40 days in the wilderness.  It has become a Christian tradition for many to fast or abstain from something (food, vices, or other daily enjoyments). 

              Scientific studies have proven many physical and mental benefits of fasting. Currently, intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

              The two most common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting 24 hours, twice per week. (1) Sixteen Hour Fast: involves skipping breakfast and only eating from 1 pm to 9 pm. (2) Twenty-four Hour Fast: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example, by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day. During the fasting periods, we eat either very little or nothing at all.

              Lent is also healthy for our spirits. We seek to understand how Christ grew in God’s will and blessings while simultaneously gave up parts of His life each day. God blesses us and urges us to give up our stubborn choices, unbridled cravings, relational resentments, and daily fears so we can enjoy His blessings.    

              Jesus spoke sternly to his disciples in Mark 8:34 by stating, “If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will save it.”

              Lent reminds us to ask God to help us carve out more time for Him. Biblical fasting leads us to turn our attention from our natural desire for food, vice, pride, or distracting pleasures to concentrate on God through prayer, Bible meditation, and helping those in need.

              We all can admit we need to pray more, read the Bible more, and give more to those less fortunate.  This time of the Christian year is not to condemn us but encourage us to discover God’s wisdom in drawing near to him daily.  

              “Humble yourselves before God. Come close to God, and he will come close to you.” (James 4:6,8 NLT)

              I invite you to join me as we ask God to reveal how we can dedicate more time to him. He wants our attention. God wants to be the first place in our thought the day and night so that we can be filtered life through his divine presence.   

              Does this sound impossible or unrealistic?  Then now is the perfect time to talk with God and others about the meaning of the Lenten season.  Feel free to contact me for additional ways of experiencing the real purpose of Lent.

     

    Pastor Greg