Read: Luke 4:1-4
“What are you giving up for Lent?” It’s a common question among many Christians during this time of year. For some, this is a deeply personal and private question. For others, they are more than happy to share what they will be fasting from during the Lenten season.
Many Christians take on the traditional Lenten fast of abstaining from meat every day or only on Fridays. Others revise this practice by giving up sweets, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, or other food-related fasts. In the last few years, a “social media fast” has become more and more popular as people have used the 40 days of Lent to step away from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or whatever other social media craze is most popular at that time.
But why do we fast during Lent? Historically, we trace this practice back to Jesus’ own 40 day fast during His temptation in the wilderness. Fasting has long been a common spiritual practice in the Church as we rid our bodies and minds of physical temptations so that we can center ourselves on God. When we start to reach for that piece of candy or click on the social media icon, it’s an internal reminder of Who we really need to focus on instead.
This week, we move from repentance to focus on subtraction. What are the things we need to remove from our lives so that we can begin to see, hear, and feel God more clearly this Lent?