Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Have you ever given something up for Lent? A Lenten fast, or abstaining from a particular things during the season of Lent, has ancient origins in the church. You can
find many examples of fasting throughout the Bible, and the act of denying oneself bodily is meant to draw one closer in prayer and meditation towards God.
Traditionally, Lenten fasting had to do with limiting the amount of food you consume, but more recently other types of fasts have become popular. Going without a particular
vice—whether it is cigarettes, or alcohol, or something as harmless as chocolate—is one frequent route. Still others attempt to add a discipline to their lives during Lent,
maybe going to the gym more frequently or taking focused time for prayer. Such fasts can certainly be helpful spiritually, especially when they point to that historical purpose
of fasting: more time and attention paid to God.
This Lent at St. Paul’s, we will focus on what other things God calls us to “give up.” For the five Sundays of Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday, I will be preaching a
sermon series called “Giving it Up.” Each week will focus on something God invites us to give up, not just for the forty days of Lent, but beyond.
March 5: Giving up Control
March 12: Giving up Expectations
March 19: Giving up Superiority
March 26: Giving up Enemies
April 2: Giving up Our Lives
April 9 (Palm Sunday): Giving up Popularity
April 16 (Easter Sunday): Giving up Death
I invite you to join us in learning from God’s word and in observing a holy Lent, through whatever means make it such for you. May our Lenten disciplines be acceptable in
God’s sight and serve as a deepening of our relationship with God and one another.