What Am I Giving Up For lent?

The York Press phoned me and asked me about Lent and they asked would I be giving anything up for Lent. I think the reporter was a bit surprised by my replies. See the York Press article by clicking here.

Lent observance is not an important part of Pentecostal expression of faith and spirituality. I am not sure why that is so. I have been thinking it over. If anyone thinks they have an answer I would be interested to hear it.

It may be because Pentecostalism is, in part, an attempt to rediscover a very early type of Christianity. Pentecostals tend to try and recapture the sort of primitive New Testament style of Christianity, before Lent was observed. I say ‘attempt’ as I realise that it is not something that is possible to accomplish completely. These are different times, with a very different culture from those ancient places. However, people are much the same.

Some Christians are suspicious of Lent as they see it to be too similar to an ancient Babylonian tradition of celebration using baked cakes like we do with hot-cross buns.

I do not want to knock anything to do with Lent but I do think that commitment and dedication should not be confined to a particular moment in the calendar, I aim for it all year round. There is also the fact that Christians go through spiritual seasons that have nothing to do with the seasons of the calender. Some Christians will be going through a ‘winter’ time of the soul when others around them are experiencing the exuberance of a spiritual ‘spring’. We must not envy the experience of another but learn from our own ‘season’ and find contentment and fulfilment in it.

One value of the celebration of Lent of course is that it is something a group or community all do together. Like a community pilgrimage. Perhaps in our age of individualism such corporate acts of spirituality as Lent may take on new expressions to fit our time.

One thought on “What Am I Giving Up For lent?

  1. I think Lent is just seen by many non Christians as another confusing and pointless religious period that they don’t understand. Therefore I am glad to be part of a tradition that does not insist on its observance.

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