Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and my church had a service for it. I think it is a bit uncommon for a non-denominational protestant church to have an Ash Wednesday service and participate in Lent, but I am really glad HoP decided to.
When they announced that they were doing a service, both my husband and I realized we didn’t really know what Lent was about. We were pretty sure it was a Catholic thing, something about giving something up for 40 days, that was about the extent of it. I knew many people gave up chocolate in that movie Chocolat, but I didn’t really get why. And I was pretty certain that an example from Hollywood probably wasn’t the most accurate. We decided to look into it for ourselves and began considering what we might give up.
When we looked into both Lent and the significance of Ash Wednesday, this is basically what we discovered: Lent is kicked off by Ash Wednesday, which is about recognizing one’s mortality, repenting for our sins, and cherishing the hope we have in life through Christ Jesus. The ashes that are put in a cross on your forehead represents the idea of mortality: “…for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19.
Lent itself is denying something of ourself for 40 days to become closer to God. A sort of fasting. Some people actually fast, or fast from specific things (like chocolate or coffee). We decided to participate. I could immediately think of quite a few things that would be healthy to deny myself of for 40 days, so that I might instead spend that time and energy with my Savior.
The things I will be giving up are as follows:
Select games on my iPhone
For the next 40 days (44 really), until Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), you won’t see any pins, tweets, posts, or instagrams from me (except the automatic ones linking to these blog posts).