Lent

The latest Salt challenge is Lent. This was a difficult topic for me since I don’t participate in traditional Lenten practices. Although raised in a church that does recognize the season of Lent, I had to do an internet search to refresh my mind on the purpose and intent of Lent.

Lent is a time of reflection and repentance for many believers, a time to sacrifice personal daily pleasures or comforts. If Lent is sincerely practiced, it is a time to prepare the heart for honoring the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe my heart participates in Lent, but perhaps not in the context of a certain time period. As Easter approaches, my heart does reflect on my own sinfulness and the amazing thought that my God loved me while I was yet a sinner. He died for me while I partied on. He loved me while I remained bitter and hard hearted. It was this immense sacrificial love that melted my hard heart. So as Easter draws near, my awareness of His great sacrifice is made very tender and fresh.

I have many Christian friends who participate in Lenten practices, giving up something, not eating meat on Fridays, reading particular Lenten devotions or Scriptures. I honor these friends and their devotion to Our Lord. It is beautiful to see.

So this page in my altered hymnal is in honor of the Lenten season and the beautiful traditions of the Christian faith. And this page is also in thankfulness for the great liberty our Christian faith allows. I am free to follow or not follow traditions made by man and must turn to God to make the choice right for my life.

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

This page also reflects a prayer that my attitude of repentance, of a willingness to sacrifice my own comforts, would be one that would remain not just for a season, but that I turn my heart to my God every day.

Let the fire rage. Let the flames roll. Consume me, Lord. Engulf my soul.

amanda ∞

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0 thoughts on “Lent

  1. Hazel says:

    Thank you for such an encouraging contribution to our Salt challenge – you have expressed this so beautifully in your artwork and what you have written

  2. truevyne says:

    Dear Hidden,
    I do observe Lent, and I do help the children in my Sunday night classroom as well in small ways. I love the order and intentionality the liturgical calendar brings to my life though it is not especially recognized in my current church.

  3. Acceptance-with-Joy says:

    Amanda, as usual your art is awesome!

    I started commenting here yesterday and got sidetracked making dinner. When I came back, Marissa was on the computer and had closed my window with all my great thoughts!

    I kind of participated in Lent last year. I think the reason I did was that the Eastern, Western and Messianic churches were all celebrating Christ’s Passion at the same time and because of the Internet, I have friends who worship differently than I do. I didn’t “give up” anything for Lent. I went to High School in Biloxi, MS. When I think of “giving up” something for Lent, my mind automatically recalls the indulgences of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and the three days of indulgence that precedes Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

    I did:

    * Read the writings of the Church Fathers with DebD. I think every Christian should read these. I didn’t agree with every thing I read and couldn’t find scriptural support for everything I read, but in a way I never had understood before, I realized that Christianity didn’t start with the Reformation or the founding of America.
    * Participate in spring cleaning which was a great physical picture of searching out sin in our life.
    * On the Wednesday before Resurrection Sunday, Marissa and I planned and hosted a Passover Seder.

    And, Easter Sunday did seem more meaningful ~ I think sometimes I need the order of a liturgical calendar to keep my eye focused on eternity. That being said, my church doesn’t have a liturgical calendar. I have enjoyed the freedom of setting my own ~

  4. titus2woman says:

    OH.WOW. What a beautiful work of art! and this post was wonderful too!

    About that Valentine/Mother’s Day/whatever kinda thang I think homeschooling is very different than public school, where the children are led in making things to honor their Mothers. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is NOT a slap in the face not to get it, BUT I do want my children to grow up respecting and honoring others and later their own wives~does that make sense? I don’t know how to express this thought well~LOL! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  5. Squindney says:

    Hi Aunt Amanda,
    I actually have a question about lent. Today in History these girls were having a fight about if all people have to do lent or not. One girl said that it’s only nessecsary for Cathlics, but the other girls made an interesting point on the fact that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for only the Catholics. So I was wondering if She (meaning the girl who said it was only for Cathlics) is wrong about that?
    Love,
    Your Kool Niece,
    Squidney
    P.S, Sorry for all the grammer issues. It’s kind of late and we just found a dead mouse under our couch, eww!

    Hello my super cool niece,

    Lent is purely optional. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians commanded to observe the Lenten season. This practice was not added until later in church history. Catholics have added their own traditions to the Christian faith and are quite serious about practicing these traditions, but most of these things are not commanded in the Bible. So while Catholics are required by their religion to practice Lent, they are not required by God.

    While Lent is optional, it is a beautiful and solemn remembrance of Jesus’ great sacrifice and love for us. Many different denominations observe Lent in different ways. There is no right or wrong way, but great significance can be found in following a tradition that has been practiced for years. This tradition connects people to each other and to Christ, so most often people will observe Lent the way their church has traditionally done it.

    But you can still be a Christian and do nothing different during the Lenten season. The church we attend doesn’t practice Lent. God looks at our hearts, not at our outward actions. His concern is that we are passionately in love with Him, not that we follow church tradition.

    Love you,
    aunt amanda

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