Ash Wednesday 4


Terry Mantooth

Isaiah 58:3-11

When I think of Lent, the first thing that always pops into my mind, no matter how many times I try to think of the actual definition, is the stuff you have to get off with a lint roller. That’s not the right definition of that word, clearly, but Lent can be hard to define. Lent to me is a time to reflect closely on my relationship with God, and to fast from something that draws myself away from Him. You can also fast from something you love, so every time during Lent that you’re tempted to partake in it, you’re reminded of your sacrifice and in turn of Jesus’ sacrifice to us. My youth group leader in high school told me something that’s also stuck with me- you can also sacrifice some of your time for Lent by adding something into your life that brings you closer to God. For example, getting up 15 minutes earlier to journal or do a devotional. The most important thing about Lent, however, is not just to fast from something. We also have to remember Jesus’ sacrifice to us, treat people well, and strive to grow closer to God every day. We can’t just meaninglessly fast because everyone else is doing it. In Isaiah 58:3-11, the people wonder why God doesn’t acknowledge their fasting. He then tells them they aren’t doing it wholeheartedly and not living how He has told them to. Therefore it can’t count. So if you choose to give something up or take something on for Lent, try to remember each day the reason behind your fasting, and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Remember also what it means for your personal relationship to God. Don’t just do it because others are!

Dear Lord, help me to remember the true meaning of Lent. Remind me of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and help me live more like Him. Draw me closer to You during this period of fasting. Amen.

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