“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
In many ways Lent has been trivialised. The true significance of Lent is not in what we give up, even for God, but in the awe-inspiring sacrifice that Christ made for us, and the self –denial and suffering that was involved. Any sacrifice of ours should primarily serve as a reminder of, and association with, that greater sacrifice, and not as a source of personal satisfaction. Scripturally our sacrifice is between God and ourselves and should be kept private.
Lent is also a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the holiness and love of God, the enormous blessing and privilege of knowing Him and being known by Him, and the great need for Him in our lives and the life of the world in which we live today. As we journey through Lent and towards Easter we will be doing so as we look at the reason for Jesus Christ’s coming, His primary mission and purpose, and the centrality and significance of the Cross both then and now.
This year you might also like to think of doing a special act of kindness for someone every day – especially for someone with a need. It is also an opportunity for special prayers for the trouble spots of the world, for those suffering and for Christians being persecuted because of their faith. You could focus in on one of these every day at regular intervals.
Father may this time of Lent be of value and significance in our relationship as well as a blessing to others. Amen.