“I know of others who fast during Lent as a way of remembering the sufferings of Christ on our behalf. As we come up to the Passion Week of Christ, where we commemorate the death of Christ on our behalf, some people fast as a means of reminding themselves of what Christ has done for us. They deny their flesh during these weeks as a daily reminder that Christ died and He rose again to deliver us from our slavery to self and from our flesh.

I think there is value, no matter how you observe these weeks, in taking periods of time where we just clear out the clutter of our lives, where we say “no” to things that may have become too important in our lives, and we focus on cultivating a greater heart for Christ.” –Nancy Leigh DeMoss 

Yesterday, as many of you know, was Ash Wednesday.  Growing up within the evangelical circle, I had no idea the significanc of Ash Wednesday or Lent. I thought they were “catholic traditions” so I wrote them off.  But about seven years ago, a friend within the Reformed tradition opened my eyes to the beauty of the Church Calendar.

Lent is not a “catholic holiday,” as it began long before the Reformation, when there was only One Church.  It just so happens that when protestants split, some traditions chose to throw out the Calendar altogether because of its association with the catholics tradition.

However, many other denominations still observe the Church Holidays, including Reformed, Episcopal, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist. At any rate, I’m not really concerned with who does and who doesn’t recognize these traditions–I LOVE them and will celebrate them by myself if I have to:-)

Lent is the 47-day period between Ash Wednesday and Resurrection Sunday, and during that period, we are meant to fast and pray and dwell on the weight of our mortality and the cost of our sin–Jesus’ death on the cross.  This year I am reading “The Incomporable Christ” to focus on Him, His beauty, and what He accomplished for me on the cross.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss is going through this book on her Revive our Hearts radio program, which I highly recommend.  Stephen and I are fasting from particular things that pull us away from focusing on Christ and turning our attention to the cross.

I love this tradition, because it brings so much more meaning to Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday.  When I have spent well over a month meditating on the glories of Christ and the fact that He took my sin and suffered death in my place–and then he conquered death and lives again–the celebration is so glorious!

So if you are unfamiliar with this tradition, or have always thought of it as a “catholic tradition,” I encourage you to examine it again and see the beauty in it.  I encourage you to use this Lenten season to meditate on Christ and what He has done for you.  And may your joy on that Sunday morning be all the more complete because of it! Enjoy!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jen flock on March 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks Ashley-Nicole! Growing up catholic and then leaving he catholic church I too threw out this tradition as being “catholic work!”. So thank you for the new meaning of it. Hope all is well with you! See you this weekend at church!?! 🙂 jen


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