Lent 2012 – a time for reflection

Wow, I haven’t updated this blog in over 2 years. Time for a resurrection!

I don’t consistently practice Lent, and in fact, had no clue what it was until my college years when I met other Christians from more liturgically-rooted denominations. When I lived in close proximity to Catholic friends, I was more aware of when Ash Wednesday was, but I admit that for the past few years, I haven’t had Lent on the mind unless the topic comes up on say, someone’s Facebook status.

I know lots of people observe Lent by giving up sweets or beverages, but I don’t have a sweet-tooth and I generally stick to drinking water, so it doesn’t feel like I’m surrendering much by giving those up. One year, I attempted to give up Facebook but didn’t do so well with the self-discipline.

Last year, I participated in World Vision ACT:S and I’m doing the same this year. This year’s “program” is a 7-week challenge focused on sacrifice. The first week’s reflection focused on this prompt:

Define what sacrifice means to you and why it’s important for our generation to live a life of sacrifice.

Questions to reflect on (+ my responses):
1) What does sacrifice mean to you?
- putting others’ needs before my own
- giving something up out of love for someone else
- not being selfish
- pain, inconvenience, discomfort, humility

2) How can our generation sacrifice to change ourselves and the world around us, to reflect Christ’s sacrifice for us?
- sacrifice material possessions & the time and money required to keep up an affluent lifestyle
- sacrifice time for others
- Christ sacrificed himself not just for the sake of sacrifice in itself, not for the sake of suffering, but for the sake of giving us life… what can we sacrifice to “speak/breathe life” into the people around us?

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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