Giving Up Church for Lent

Lenten Series:
    1. What is Lent?
    2. Should Christians Celebrate Lent?
    3. What is Ash Wednesday?
    4. Should I Give Something Up for Lent?
    5. Giving Up Church for Lent

I once received a phone call from a woman who told me she would not be at church for the next several weeks. I asked her if she was going away, and she replied, “No, I’m giving up church for Lent.” I said, “Excuse me?” and she said, “I’m giving up church for Lent.” I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” She explained that she observes Lent every year and that this year she wanted to give up something that really meant a lot to her. She loves going to church and thought that would be a perfect thing to give up for Lent. I tried to talk her out of it, but she was determined. True to her word, she didn’t come back to church until Easter Sunday. She told me later, “I really missed church. It was a big sacrifice for me.”

My thoughts? Well, I agree if you are going to give up something for God, it should be something meaningful, rather than just chocolate or American Idol. (See my earlier post: Should I Give Something Up for Lent?) But somehow I don’t think God wants you to give up things like church attendance, Bible reading, or prayer. What is the strangest thing you have ever heard someone giving up for Lent?

1 Comment

  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    I don’t think any of us can top that one, Ray! One year, I started feeling very burdened by long prayer lists. I felt the Lord ask me to give up the lists for Lent and simply focus on praying as He led for that time. It was a sweet time of sitting and listening to Him and I loved it! However, I also missed the discipline of praying for those I loved systematically. I think I just needed a “sabbatical” from the structure. But how in the world was this a real Lent thing? I laid down something that was feeling burdensome so it wasn’t really a sacrifice at all. I think it doesn’t count. Each year, my mom and I give up reading fiction, which we love, for Lent. We read non-fiction and it is also delightful. Hmmmm…I think I may need to work on the sacrificial part…

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