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March 10, 2007

Well, now that ya’ll have had sufficient time to ponder my previous entries on Lent, I will continue where I left off.

As I mentioned before, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter. It is a time of deep reflection and repentance. During this season, the church remembers her Lord during His 40 days in the wilderness.

Many who observe this season do so by fasting. Contrary to popular belief, fasting does not mean starvation or dehydration. It also is not a religious “weight watchers” program. Fasting can take place on a number of different levels – traditionally the orthodox church recognized 5 levels: 1)abstaining from meat 2) abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, and cheese 3) abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, and fish 4) abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, fish, oil, and wine 5)abstaining from all foods and beverages except bread, water, juices, honey and nuts. This last one is probably close to the fasting that Jesus observed in the wilderness – except for the bread.

Traditionally, during Lent, the observer chooses one or two items to omit from their diet. Usually it is something that you enjoy on a regular basis. It is a disciplined diet, rather than starvation. Practically, when you get a craving or appetite for a particular food, it will remind you that you are fasting from that food, which reminds you why you are fasting. You can then use that time to pray. As I said before, the main point of fasting is not to lose weight or even establish healthy eating patterns – although that may be a side benefit. For example, I initially decided that I would fast from soda and sweets for Lent, but as I thought about it, these were things that I was trying to cut back on anyways. I wanted to fast from something that I enjoyed and would continue to enjoy. So, in addition to soda, I added milk and sweet tea to the list. This has been hard, but it constantly reminds me of why I am fasting (which makes it a little easier).

One more note about fasting – the truth is, there are 46 days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter – what’s up with that? Well, it’s not bad math, it’s that the Lord’s Day is not included in the season. This is because the Sabbath is a time for celebration, a time for covenant renewal, a time for rejoicing that God has drawn near to us!

And a time to drink sweet tea :)!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2007 3:28 am

    I love you babe! I’m so proud of you for getting this off the ground! Can’t wait to see what the Lord does!

  2. patrick and melanie permalink
    March 15, 2007 3:39 am

    Hey Brian,

    I know you said you’ve had trouble with you email, so I figured I’d try you on the blog.

    Do you have a current email address for Drew? If you could, please email that to me. I’ve been trying to get in touch with him about the baby, and I don’t have current contact info for him.

    Thanks bro…looking forward to more posts…

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