Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent which lasts 40 days. I am glad to see in many more Christian congregations the ritual of the pastor marking a cross on the foreheads of members as the pastor says, “From dust, you came to dust you shall return.” This act reminds us of our mortality while at the same time reminding us of Jesus’ death on the cross for us.
Lent is also a time of repentance and if one can do it a time of fasting. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert so we observe Lent for 40 days not counting Sundays. Jesus has spoken of the importance of fasting and prayer. He did not make a law of it, for he said when you fast you are not supposed to let anyone know you are. It is between God and You.
Fasting means willingly abstaining from something that in itself is both permissible and good. You abstain from it to free yourself to serve Christ. In doing so you show yourself and the Lord that you can take this earthly thing or leave it. This is the right way to fast.
Please pray with me; Lord Jesus, show me what you want me to give up for you this lent. Help me to do it the right way with joy in my heart. Let me be twice as happy as I abstain from what I am giving up this Lent. Your will be done in everything. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen.