It is Ash Wednesday today, which is the first day of lent. Lent is the name used for the 40 days leading up to Easter and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent being tempted in the desert. (Read the full story here….http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%204&version=NIV)
You have maybe heard people talking about what they are giving up for lent. Chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks…. the list of bad foods go on, but is lent just a way of loosing a few pounds before the chocolate splurge at Easter?
No lent, is much more special than that. The reason that people give up some types of food is to remind themselves of the time when Jesus did not eat at all for 40 days. For the same reason people may give up other habits in their lives; smoking, facebook, watching too much TV, speeding, msn… but let’s look at it a wee bit differently.
As we said earlier, Lent is the 40 days that run up to Easter. Many Christians use this as a time to work on their relationship with God. For this reason you may hear of people taking something up for Easter. eg, reading their Bible every day, praying every morning and night, only listening to worship music on their iPod, only watching films rated 12 or lower.
Sometimes you might give something up to make room to take something up… why not give up 10 mins of Facebook to listen to a worship song and spend some time praying to God? Why not give up 20 mins of sleep first thing in the morning to read your Bible before you go to school? Why not save the pocket money that you usually spend on sweets and give it to charity?
Sticking to lent is NOT EASY! It would be handy if you could write the foods that you are off on your hand incase you forget, but that gets a bit messy after a while. You could set reminders for yourself on your phone, or stick a post it beside your tooth brush to remind you every morning. But the best reminder is to look after your friends and they will look after you. If you all share the things to are trying to stick at you can watch out for each other!
There are loads of different things that you can do. If you have any good ideas or links let us know through the comments below. We would love to hear what you are all up to!