Morning Star Church | 636 Palisade Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703 | 914-378-0070
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
And satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
Then your light will rise in the darkness,
And your night like the noon day.
Isaiah 58: 6-10 NIV
What is the purpose of Lent and a Lenten Fast?
The underlying premise of Lent is, Christians will imitate Jesus’s actions in the wilderness. Lent is sometimes called the “Great Fast.” It is a season of 40 days wherein Christians seek to give up some comfort or adopt some spiritual practice that leads to self-examination, repentance from sin, and, ultimately, renewal of the soul, all in anticipation of greater dedication to serving others and God in the coming year.
What Happens During Lent and Why?
The three fold focus during Lent are : Praying , Fasting, and Giving
Prayer during Lent focuses on our need for God’s forgiveness. It’s also about repenting (turning away from our sins) and receiving God’s mercy and love.
Fasting, or giving something up, is a very common practice during Lent. The idea is that giving up something that’s a regular part of life, like eating chocolate or other desserts, staying away from social media or television, or to give up gossiping/lying/self-indulgence. It can be a time of remembrance regarding the great sacrifice of Christ on the Cross to redeem us from our sins. It is a season of reappropriating your time to God’s time - spending more time studying the Word of God; spending more time being silent and listening; more time to be in the Presence of God - the creator of the universe. Indeed, giving space to God rather than being consumed with the world and or ourselves.
Giving during Lent is where you can designated your time, your talent, and yes your money - to serve others for the good of others. You can increase your time for laboring in the vineyard winning souls for Christ. You can give of your talent in volunteering . It takes money to do things in this world. So this is especially a good time to re-allocate your budget to donate above and beyond tithing to the church. You can make a sacrificial offering to your local church. An example would be, to save your change for the next 40 days and donate that total sum of money to the church’s benevolent fund or youth ministry. Can you imagine that if you took $5.00 a day for 40 days that would be $200? And then if 20 people in your church also participated - that would be $2,000 which could be presented at Easter Sunday. What a Blessing an additional $2,000 would mean to a church (above and beyond tithing). What an amazing way to respond to God’s Grace!
Please note, that these things aren’t done to earn one’s way into Heaven. We cannot purchase a relationship with Christ. Jesus Paid It All. Salvation in Christ is FREE. But it came with a cost…..
Draw me nearer, nearer precious Lord…
Dearest Lord God;
I come to you in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Lord in this Lenten season, may my focus shift from being self-centered to being centered totally in you. May you abide in me as I abide in you. Lord may there be a power shift in my inner most being. A shift away from the power grabbing world that I live in. A shift away from the delusions of the world. A shift away from seeking my will and my way. O Lord may there be a shift in my inner most being to you- Jesus as the center of my life. May there be a shift to you and the reality of your saving grace. May there be a shift to you where I pray “ Nevertheless - not my will but thy will be done…” In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.