Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What are you Giving up for Lent?

Perhaps you give something up for Lent every year. This is a fairly new thing for me to take seriously - really something i've only done over the past few years. I grew up in a liturgical tradition, and knew about Lent - but mostly I was concerned with Pancake Tuesday and getting Good Friday off. Nothing about repentance or reflection.

Now, however, I'm taking this seriously. Giving something up for Lent has been an exercise in discipline, and really has been one that allows me to examine my sinful nature in the lead-up to Easter. Examining my sinful nature allows me to understand why Christ died, and gives me a new perspective on His resurrection. It allows me to reflect - although reflection is something, arguably, that I should be doing every day of the year.

I can say, with conviction, that examining my own inherent tendency and inclination to sin, which is highlighted during Lent, gives new meaning to the words of the hymn by Stuart Townsend:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

So, what am I giving up for Lent? Complaining.

It wasn't what I wanted to give up (since i'm on a diet right now, chocolate would have been a lot easier) but I believe that I've been compelled to give up complaining. I don't expect it will be easy - and it is something that people will be able to catch me in if I don't catch myself first. I'm hoping that by giving up the habit of complaining about circumstances will force me to have a proper perspective - knowing God's presence and His activity in my circumstances.

1 comment:

Darcy said...

Hey Ellen,

We are giving up chocolate, and white foods... We'll let you know if it's easier than complaining or not!

Darcy and Leanne