Giving Something (Up) for Lent
Many devout Christians give something up during Lent. Often it is something they enjoy, such as giving up chocolate. Some people use this period of time sort of like another chance for a New Year’s resolution. I have a friend who is trying to refrain from using profanity.
I have not researched this in a scholarly manner, but I suppose the tradition of preparing for Easter by fasting, repentance, and discipline is in recognition of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice. How small is giving up chocolate or beer or whatever in comparison to Christ’s giving up his human life for us on the cross?
Our small sacrifices are minor, yet symbolic. Our sacrifices can help us remember what Christ did for us. Our disciplines can help us focus on the cross.
Another idea consistent with such symbolism is to do something positive, just as Christ’s ministry was positive and his sacrifice was for salvation. Maybe we can think of the positive effect of giving up things like laziness and selfishness so that during Lent we do something positive for other people. Maybe for you, volunteering or donating money to the Church, charities, or other good causes also reflects Christ in your lives.
I don’t know what you should do or what you should give up during Lent. I am just reminding you that it is Lent, so prepare for Easter.