Growing up Catholic I experienced Lent as part of my yearly rhythm. We went to Ash Wednesday services, we didn’t eat meat on Friday, and I may or may not have given up something. It was just what we did as a family.
Experiencing Lent as a Baptist and an adult has been the same and different at the same time. In past years I went through the motions – special church services, Lenten Wednesday lunches, ashes, giving up something- but now I ask myself WHY?
Last year my mom was here for Ash Wednesday so I took her to the Catholic Church for Ash Wednesday services. Throughout the beautiful service we sang “Create in me a pure heart, O God” from Psalm 51. For some reason this resonated with me, I couldn’t get it out of my head and heart – it became my mantra for the season!
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
As I was reflecting on writing this blog this all came back to me. As you know if you have been reading these blogs and Wednesday’s Word, staff and anyone willing is participating in fasting during Lent.
As we were discussing this concept Landon made the statement of something along these lines; fasting is just fasting unless you do something in place of it.
I had already begun fasting that day and for what purpose?? Had I added anything, changed anything, been transformed in any way?
A big Nope on that!
I went back to “Create in me a pure heart” – what do I need to do differently? How is fasting making a difference in me, in the world I live in?
The Voice translation of Psalm 51 goes like this:
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
restore within me a sense of being brand new.
Do not throw me far away from Your presence,
and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me.
Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You;
let Your willing Spirit sustain me.
I am holding on to these verses, praying to be given a sense of newness this season! How will fasting make a difference in me this year?