Friday, March 31, 2006

a time for reflection


Lent: What is it? Why is it?
The highlight of the year for Christians is Easter, the day when our Lord rose from the dead. Lent is a forty-day season of preparation for Easter. Lent always begins on a Wednesday, called Ash Wednesday.


Why 40 days?
Because, Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. Lent, then, is our time of fasting, prayer, temptation and repentance. Lent is not required anywhere in scriptures, but it has been a custom, which Christians have practiced for most of the last two thousand years.

In many languages, the word "Lent" actually means "fast." This is where the custom of giving up something for Lent originated.
However, just to confuse things, Lent is actually 46 days rather than 40 days. Why? Because the 40 days of Lent are supposed to be days of fasting, which means days of discipline and self-restraint.


But Sunday, the Lord's Day, should never be a day of fasting, but a day of celebration! So each Sunday we suspend our Lenten disciplines and celebrate.

Lent is 40 "fasting" days spread out over a total of 46 days beginning on Ash Wednesday.

The focus of Lent :
It was a time for long-standing Christians to review their lives and renew their commitment to Jesus Christ.
It was a time for backsliders to be restored to the faith.
In every case, it is a time for serious, disciplined self-examination, a time spent in intensive prayer and repentance before the cross of Calvary.


To represent the dark and serious business of Lent, one custom has been to strip the sanctuary of all flowers, candles, and colors during Lent. This custom helps us to turn inward and examine ourselves, even as it reminds us of the dark and colorless Sabbath day when Jesus lay dead in the tomb.

Put simply, Lent is a time to examine ourselves carefully. Here are some questions upon which you might pray and meditate during Lent:

Am I sharing gladly what I have with others, especially the stranger and the poor?
Do I have a gracious and patient attitude with others, especially those who irritate me?
Do I feel the power of connection to God and the church in corporate worship?


How is my devotional and prayer life progressing? Am I listening to God more and complaining less? Is it time for a change or a growth in my Bible study and prayer life?

What are the lurking sin problems, which still plague me?
Am I as thoughtful and forgiving of family as others, or do I take my frustrations out on them?
Do I speak up for the maligned and oppressed, or do I remain silent in order to remain popular?


http://wilstar.com/holidays/lent.htm

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

, Turn aside from self-righteousness ,

He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.

Job 35:12,13 NIV

__________________

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit?
There is more hope of a fool than of him.

Proverbs 26:12 KJV

__________________

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;

And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You;

For You have hidden Your face from us
And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

Isaiah 64:6,7 NASB

__________________

Story of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else:

"Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'

I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."

Luke 18:9-14 NLT

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Grandpa: “Yes,but only oral.”

John says: “What is oral?”

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saby said...

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Anonymous said...

Very informative post Saby on Lent.Thank you for sharing dahling.

Keshi said...

**or do I take my frustrations out on them?

never...



**or do I remain silent in order to remain popular?

I always speak up...I dun care of ppl hate me for that..I'd rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who Im not...


Keshi.

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