The First Sunday in Lent

Sunday, February 21
The First Sunday in Lent

Easily the most popular rule in the official Lent rulebook is the one that tells us we can break our fast on Sundays during the season.

Ok, there’s not really an official Lent rulebook. Instead, there are traditions and ways of engaging Lent embraced by generations of Christ followers that we get to join in. One of those common practices is to set Sundays aside as special days where you break your fast. As the traditional day of worship, Sundays are the day when we remember and celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Some even refer to Sundays during Lent as ‘mini Easters.’

In this devotional we will also set aside Sundays as a day without assigned scripture readings. You can use it as an opportunity to catch up on reading if you fell behind during the week, or just use it as a day of rest.

Here’s another encouragement. It’s not too late to begin a Lent fast. There have been many years where Ash Wednesday has snuck up on me, and despite my best intentions I haven’t come up with an intentional way to mark the season. Tomorrow is the start of a new week, and it can also be the start of a fast or a new practice in your life.

Just as there is no official Lent rule book, there is also no Lent scorecard. While checking off each day between now and Easter is appealing, too much emphasis on completing the task of Lent can cause us to miss the larger point. A perfect 40 days without coffee (or sugar, or social media, or you get the idea) will not necessarily draw us any closer to God than 33 days without coffee and a heart and mind set on God.

A practice to try this week:
Be mindful of how your fast affects you. Notice how many times you reach for the thing you have given up. Are you more dependent on it than you thought? Less? Ask God to meet you in the empty space.

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