Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Lent Officially Begins Today

Luke 14:33

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

112015 Ray McDonaldToday is the 1st official day of Lent for 2016.  According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary – Lent is defined this way – a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ.  The 40 days does not count Sundays.  Of course – this year we began our Prayer/Fast on Sunday – February 7th – the first day of our Pre-Lenten Revival.  That would be 49 days – counting the Sundays.

On Friday past – I wrote a devotional blog titled – I Will Not Deny You.  So here’s the question – Have we decided on something to give up during Lent so that we can remember the suffering of Christ?

Once we’ve decided what to give up – and I suggest it ought to be something we really like or something we would have a hard time giving up – we ought to think of something to add or to do for Christ during Lent as well.  So how about some ideas on what to give up and some ideas about what to add or do for Christ during Lent?  I’m still searching for some things myself.  I decided that Social Media was too valuable to my ministry to give up – so I will try hard to only use it for ministry.

Typical food items to give up might be a favorite food or drink or even certain chemicals like sugar or caffeine.  Whatever we pick to give up – make it something that will be hard – something we will miss – something that we will notice being gone.  We could also give up watching TV or maybe our favorite show(s).  We could give up eating out or some folks give up eating lunch for Lent or even eating at all during daytime hours (a type of fast).  Do our readers have some ideas?  Luke 14:33 – So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.  We should have nothing we would not gladly give up for Christ!

Here are some ideas about what to add to our day – once we have decided what to give up.  Some of the tools we present during Lent will be devotionals from Right Now Media and from other sources.  When we spend more time with God – first thing in the morning or when we schedule it in our day – let’s spend that time in prayer and in study.  We should spend more time in the Word of God.  We should spend more time in prayer.  We should spend more time with sisters and brothers in Christ.  We should listen to Christian music as we travel around.  If we’re watching less TV – filling that time with more time with God would be a great suggestion.  If we’re fasting from lunch – what about giving our lunch money to help raise money for the generator for Chennai – India – or some other worthy cause?

Of course – we should remember the suffering of Christ throughout the year.  His life – death – and resurrection – are not isolated to a time in the calendar year – yet we especially remember these and other events in the life of Christ during certain times of the year.  Lent is our walk to the cross with Jesus – a time of remembering His passion – His suffering – His sacrifice.

Tonight – at our Ash Wednesday service we will worship – we will hear the Word – we will share in communion and we will make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of those who desire it (or wrists if you desire) with ashes from last year’s palms.  Come and worship God with us or go to your local church and do the same.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

P.S. – The last night of our Pre-Lenten Revival is tonight at First United Methodist Church of Laurel.  The service begins at 7 pm.  The church is located at 424 Main Street – Laurel – MD – 20707.  I hope to see some of our readers at the revival!

Pre-Lenten Revival 2016

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February 10, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , ,

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