We have entered the time of Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Many of us go into this time trying to decide what to give up. Fasting is modeled for us by Jesus' 40 days in the desert. This Christian practice of fasting, or self-denial, is so important, even beyond this Lenten season.
However, many of us (me included) have been guilty of focusing on participating in the Christian practice or on the thing we're giving up rather than focusing on drawing closer to Christ and the Gospel.
True fasting as described in Isaiah 58 is not about us or even our knowledge of salvation. Perhaps it's more of an invitation into a life of service, justice, reconciliation, and grace.
I feel as though I might sense the Lord saying to me, "I didn't ask you to only give up Facebook, I asked you to give up your life for me."
So during this Lenten season, I pray that we may model for our students what it means to not only give up but to go deeper.
Perhaps when I am tempted to eat that cookie, I read the Gospel of Mark.
Perhaps when I'm tempted to scroll through social media, I text an encouraging verse to a friend in need.
Or perhaps when I go to make my coffee, I spend time praying for the underserved.
May Christ's sacrifice for us cause us to live with passion for service to his Kingdom, both during Lent and beyond.