Today we continue with the encouragement to have holy relationships with those around us, including our closest friends and family. Within our inner circle, it is much easier to allow our weaknesses to flourish. You’ve heard of the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” right? We tend to be less thoughtful with family, thinking maybe that our family is stuck with us, so we let things slip. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It is easy during Great Lent to focus on food. It is called the Great Fast, after all, but there is so much more to Great Lent than just food. Great Lent is as much about how we act out our Christian beliefs in our relationships with others. When it comes to fasting, that means not judging those who choose not to fast, or who don’t fast the way we choose to fast. What about other relationship challenges?
Yesterday I asked “Where is God Leading You?” Today I invite you to consider how far you’ve come since we began our journey four weeks ago. Since before Great Lent even began, you fasted from meat for an entire week. Then, you left all eggs and dairy products behind. If you are following the entire fast, you haven’t even had any oil or wine, except for weekends. As we finish the fourth week of Great Lent, “Are You Tired Yet?”
Daily we have been sharing a few thoughts in our attempt to inspire you in your Daily Lenten Journey. We began a month ago, and still have nearly a month to do until we reach our destination. Is Great Lent more than just seven weeks of prayer and fasting? Since we call this series our Daily Lenten Journey, have you wondered just where God is leading you on this journey?
Every now and again I recall my childhood when I would be sitting around the table at dinner trying to grab a cookie from a plate in the center of the table. My mother would slap my hand while correcting me, “Don’t grab!” From an early age my mother was teaching me that it was better to receive than to take. Taking is selfish.
Right about now during your Great Lenten Journey, chances are you are feeling wary from the fasting, extra Church services, long prayers, and intense temptation that surrounds you daily. Right about now you are wondering, if it is even possible to live like the Church expects you to live. Are there any examples of people who got it right all the time?
I can always tell when it is Great Lent. It seems like a daily experience when I am faced with evaluating what I hear in society with what I hear in the Church. This is especially true during Great Lent, when because we are engaged in a spiritual war, we are what appears to be under a greater attack by the devil and his minions. It is this truly a greater attack, or are we somehow more sensitive to the war?
I am old enough to remember the Cold War. In fact, I came of age at its height in the late 80’s. I recall one evening in high school with my best friend, as we were discussing the end of the world due to nuclear war. I will admit, as foolish as it seems now, that there nights that I genuinely considered not completing my homework for school “just in case” there was a nuclear war that night and it wouldn’t be needed. Looking back on my teenage years, I laugh at how naïve I was, but in the moment, many of really did think the world would end at any moment.
PDF is a term most people recognize as a term for a document that has been prepared to share over the internet. Long before computers or even paper and pencil, Jesus Christ established the original PDF when He said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” He also said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.