As we prepare for the Easter season, let us take this Lenten season to reflect on why lent is an important part of the Easter season. In Matthew 4:1-11 we are told that Jesus fasted for 40 days and night in the Judaean desert, where he was tempted by Satan. Why would Jesus put himself through this? Part of the answer I believe it that he was preparing himself for what was to come. He was making himself ready to resist the temptation to walk away from what his Father had sent him to do. Surly the temptations that Satan lay before him would have made any other man abandon his fate in exchange for the riches and power that was offered to Jesus. However, Jesus knew that what his Father had done by sending him to live among us was more important that anything that Satan or anyone else could have offered to him.
During lent, we take time to reflect on the things that we have before us, the things that we are tempted with. I am not speaking of giving up smoking, or fast food or not eating meat on a certain day of the week, any number of things that we may have done year after year, to the point that we can do these things without even thinking about them. By doing this are we really turning away from temptation?
Rather than do what is easy, perhaps, take on what is difficult, such as stop procrastinating about attending services at your church. Take time to volunteer, helping others who have less than we do. Or even taking time to meet with neighbors who you have not talked to in a while. One may ask how is this giving something up for lent? I would say you need to walk way from your computer, put down your cell phone or tablet, turn off the TV and make the time to spend with others. Giving up the things that distract us from each other, will allow to spend time interacting with others we do not know, would be more fitting, rather than, doing something that is easy for us.
For those of you who are not Christian or do not have a faith, I would ask the same things of you. Take time to put down the phones and tablets, walk away from the TV or computers and spend time with people whom you do not know, but may need assistance or would enjoy your company even for a short time.
Take time to reflect how, in giving of yourself, your time, by removing your distractions to make a difference in the life of another person.
May the peace of Christ always be with you
Pastor Lisa Chachula