How are You Observing Lent?

February 09, 2016 • English


The season of Lent is observed by many as a time to give something up in order that we might focus on Christ’s suffering. Have you given something up for Lent this year? While you might be, Think Christian writer, Nathan Bierma, defended why he will not. This spurred a thoughtful conversation about the purpose of observing Lent.

Think Christian is an online magazine produced by ReFrame Media, the ministry that also publishes Today. The thought-provoking and respectful articles draw readers from a variety of worldviews into conversations about faith – and religious practices like Lent. Readers are invited to comment on each article in hopes of forming a community of people who are grappling with issues and want to share how they relate their everyday lives to God.

In his article, Bierma states his hesitation of giving something up for Lent: “For me at least, the habit could actually distract me from meditating on the meaning of Lent more than it focuses me on it.”

Readers responded with insight and respect:

A pastor offered, “As someone who routinely gives up ‘trivial’ things but for deeper reasons, I’d appreciate it if, instead of scoffing, people would ask me why I’m giving up something silly. If the goal and reasoning is to do a better job of living as Christ lived, empowered by the Holy Spirit, then go ahead and give up that chocolate or volunteer your time at that soup kitchen. Jesus is King over all things, great and small.”

Another reader commented, “Giving up something for Lent is roughly like putting the pebble in your shoe: it makes you more cautious of your walk.”

During this Lenten season, reflect on Bierma’s concluding words: “Whatever we do - during Lent or after Lent, individually or in community, trivial or ambitious - that's the purpose it must serve: emptying ourselves to make room for Christ's fullness.” Visit Think for other articles that will challenge your faith this Lenten season. And check out the special Lenten series offered by your friends at Today. Visit HERE.

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