by Linda Veath
It’s that time of year once again when we are asked THE question: What are you giving up for Lent?
Answers vary. Giving up chocolate is probably at the top of the list. Skipping a meal. Turning off the TV an hour every night. Grumbling about the line at Walmart.
Perhaps a second question should follow, if not even replace the first one: Why are you giving up something for Lent?
And there’s only one right answer to that question: To help us remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. To remind us that He sacrificed His life for us.
We can give up many things during Lent, but if that doesn’t bring us to remembering what Jesus has done for us, the purpose of our Lenten celebration is gone. Lent is a time for spiritual contemplation about Christ’s journey to the cross. It’s a time for repentance, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — all done in the name and for the glory of Jesus Christ, with our focus on Him.
We can give up a meal, turn off the TV or cell phone, watch our speech during Lent, but the key is to give it up and replace it with Jesus. Skip the meal and have devotions as a family. Pray while your TV or cell phone is off. Read the Bible. Find a church that has Wednesday evening Lenten services and attend.
Focus on Jesus. His journey to the cross. And His victory over death and the grave.
Why not start this Lent? When you are asked about WHAT you are giving up for Lent, take it one step further and share WHY you are giving it up. Who knows where it might lead in your conversation.