Friday, February 10, 2012

Lent is About Jesus

The Season of Lent is about Jesus.

It isn't about what we give up. It isn't about our fasting. It isn't about hurriedly planning Easter parties. It is about Jesus.

You know how we get those "Jesus is the reason for the season" things floating around in December. It holds true in Lent as well.

Do I encourage you to give something up in Lent, or even fast. Sure. But not as a means of changing you, but as a tool with which to focus upon Christ - as a self discipline that teaches you to turn your eyes off of your belly and onto Christ.

Because Lent is all about watching Christ - it's about watching Him take on Satan and temptation, watching Him take on sin and suffering and death... and then watching Him die, and watching Him rise.

Lent is the season where we watch our Lord, where we take care to remove distractions, where we focus intently upon Him. Don't let it become the season of what you do for Jesus.


Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

I was just a few minutes ago looking at two volumes of Walther's sermons published here in the 1800s, and it was interesting to see that in German, there was no word "Lent" used, but simply "the Fast" for the time we call, in English, Lent.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

"Lent" is just a derivation of the Old English word for Spring... I don't know, I don't mind the seasonal aspect. In Latin and Greek the seasonal name is just a number... which makes a lot of sense if you observe Pre-lent with the Gesimas.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

But even then I'd contend that the following sentence is true: "The Fast is about Jesus". If it's about yourself, well, then you've missed the point.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

Eric, I totally agree that Lent/Fasting Time (the old Lutheran term for Lent = Fastenzeit) is all about Jesus.

But why do some Lutherans get the heebie-jeebies about a pious practice and discipline that has always been a part of Christian prayer and devotion?

Our Lord Christ Himself assume we fast, just as he assume we pray.

Perhaps there is something here to explore.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Why do some get the heebie jeebies?

1. Over-reaction against Rome. Throughout history the Church has over corrected against error. Rome mandated fasting and turned it inward, so some eschew it and would avoid it. Classic overreaction.

2. Americans are consumerists... we probably need fasting as a discipline more than most, but it doesn't appeal.

3. We forget that the fast is lent isn't the time when we exercise self-denial... we exercise self-denial at all times... we just ratchet it up in Lent. Self-denial as part of self-control is forgotten. The old folks talk about the times when you were supposed to leave the table while slightly hungry yet... now I can't find Chinese within 60 miles of my house that isn't buffet (or mall, which doesn't count).