As I'm sure you know, today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent on the liturgical calendar which spans forty days (not including sundays).
I'm hoping to have several reflections on here throughout Lent on the idea of "genuine discipleship". I hope we'll have some guests posting thoughts for the season here as well.
Something to think about:
1) Why do people need to ask everyone what they're giving up for Lent?
2) Why do people feel the need to tell everyone what they're attempting to go without through Lent?
Its almost like we approach the season with thinking that whoever comes up with the most creative sacrifice is the most spiritual christian or wiser than the losers who can't think of anything better than meat. In fact, asking people what they're giving up or pronouncing what you're giving up is completely contradictory to reason for the Lenten journey.
Lent is about humility. Its about dying to ourselves, so Christ can live in us. Its about remembering that we came from dust and one day we'll return to dust (Genesis 2.7 and 3.19). Its about purging, and cleansing, and transformation. Its about rest. Its about realizing where we're being tempted with power and glory and for this repenting. Its painful. Its joyous. Its about Jesus.
Don't let a season about self-denial be for you a season of self-righteousness. Fast, pray continually, and be open to the whispers of God. Don't let your penitence and supplication be seen and noticed by others unless that's what you're seeking - praise from men. I guarantee that if that's what you seek you can find it. Instead, only let your Father in heaven see, who will reward you in secret and by his means (Matthew 6.16-18).