Well, the season of Lent has quickly approached, starting yesterday with Ash Wednesday. The opening of the Lenten season of 40 days that concludes with the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Then the celebration of His rising.
That’s what God gave to his Son Jesus, and that is what God gave to us. But he used Jesus (Godly form turned human) as the catalyst to this.
But for those of you that may not believe, or know the story, Jesus suffered. Suffered tremendously from disbelief, challenges and opportunities to carry the Word of God. He was tortured and suffered greatly for his beliefs.
They made him carry a large and heavy wooden cross. Put a crown of actual thorns on (shoved into) his head. He walk but kept his strength. He was spat upon, verbally and physically abused throughout his journey to the crucifixion.
Jesus went through a death that can’t be wished upon any enemy, because nobody will suffer a worse death.
God made this sacrifice.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but
might have eternal life.”-John 3:16
Man, think about this.
If you had to think about the most fragile, important, life-sustaining thing you had to give up in life, could you?
Very difficult to think about. It’s difficult for us to put ourselves in God’s situation because that is such a powerful and the most unselfish thing ever.
We just could not beat that.
But what we can do is give thanks to him for giving us the opportunity to celebrate this season.
Everyone well knows that at Ash Wednesday, you get the sign of the cross on your forehead in Ash. As from the Palms that were burned from last Palm Sunday.
The other known thought is not refrain from meat on Fridays as well as giving up one thing. Giving up that one thing during Lent usually lasts a short while for many of us. For many of you, you have the will power and fortitude to do it.
It takes a lot for us to give up something, and to adjust our comfortable lives around this. Just one thing is all that is asked of us, right?
Well, if God gave up his only Son, I think we can handle that one thing. Just keep that in mind.
I’d also like to provide you with a list of other ways to sacrifice yourself during this season of Lent. Show how much you love your Lord and God by being strong and focusing on how you can sacrifice some things in your life.
Weep and mourn Jesus’ death..
But celebrate his rising.
In between honor him by making some sacrifices, because He deserves it more than anyone.
Go through this list, print it out and check off those items you want to sacrifice for these next 40 days. Make that commitment to God and yourself. Nobody else should know.
_____Pray for people who do not practice their faith
_____Attend reconciliation service (confession)
_____Attend weekly Masses
_____Pray and attend stations of the Cross (check with your local Catholic church)
_____Read from the Bible daily
_____Pray the Rosary
ALMSGIVING (giving of yourself):
_____Donate food/time/money to local Parish or Society
_____Donate time or money to local soup kitchen
_____Give time, talent or treasure to a worthwhile cause
_____Visit a sick or lonely person
_____Help with a neighborhood city project
_____Help a family in need
_____Assist with youth group activities
FASTING (truly giving something up):
______Fast from gossip
______Fast from complaining
______Fast from TV
______Fast from alcoholic beverages/soda
______Fast from food between meals
______Fast from a favorite food
______Fast or abstain an extra day each week
These are just some ideas.
But the goal here is to think about these items. Certainly there is nothing that compares to the ultimate sacrifice, but we can sure as heck try, right?
Make that commitment. Sign below:
To demonstrate my commitment and determination to perform these acts of Lenten renewal, I sign my name below:
Print this out, or at least copy it onto Word and make a commitment to yourself.
Make God proud.
My spiritual journey starts with you,
Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Hope Chest. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college.