I don't recall ever practicing Lent. I've had Catholic friends over the years who did the no fish on Friday thing. Sometimes, out of curiosity, I would ask why. "Why no meat on Friday? Why ashes on your forehead? Why 40 days?"
Once, by sheer coincidence, Bob and I chose to eat at Long John Silvers (for the first time in years) on a Wednesday evening. We had no idea Long John's was so popular! Then we began seeing the ash on foreheads and realized we had chosen a very special Wednesday.
No, I don't attend a Catholic church, but our pastor is encouraging us to consider observing Lent in a real way this year and I love the idea of it. I love the idea of preparing my heart for Easter...of experiencing God in a new way...of sacrificing something of comfort to help me appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made. I'm just a little scared of making the commitment to give up something for 40 days. I don't want it to be something easy to do without - that's not much of a personal sacrifice. Yet, I'm afraid of choosing something tough and failing to go the distance.
I read Lysa TerKeurst's blog this morning and she made reference to a phrase her pastor used last weekend during his message. It was "and then some". You can read the post here, "And then some..." by Lysa TerKeurst. I know a sacrifice for Lent would definitely be me living out "and then some" in my daily life for the next few weeks.
The staff at First MB Church put together a wonderful little brochure full of Lent history and suggestions for practicing Lent. Click here for a link to the materials, Journey through Lent - First MB Church.
I hope you, too, will consider making this a special season of Lent in your own life this year! Happy Ash Wednesday! Tiffany