#03 – Year-round Festival Series – Lent – Less is more!
The 40-day period from 22 February, not counting Sundays, until Easter, 7 April, is known as Lent. Lent means spring and is a time when the days become longer (Lengthen).
Lent is a time to prepare our hearts for Easter.
Why do we need to prepare our hearts?
Because it is through the preparation of our hearts that we can further understand the true meaning of Easter. Like weddings, graduations and other major events in our lives, it is through careful preparation that we can feel more joy and excitement.
Throughout history, Lent has been a time of serious and profound reflection on human nature. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday: from dust we come and to dust we return.
Lent is a commemoration of Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the desert and his success in resisting Satan’s temptations in the Gospels. Having overcome the temptation of the devil, he began his public ministry. The biblical account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is God’s final act of salvation for mankind.
So what does Lent mean for people in general? For us who are rich in material things, the meaning of Lent is very valuable as a reference.
The most important meaning of Lent is a spirit of self-sacrifice and denial.
In 40 days, we can try:
In material terms,
1. We can think about where we spend our money.
Is it buying clothes? Is it spent on food and drink? During Lent, you can also adjust these alarms of spending money.
2. Tidy up your home; throw away unwanted items or donate them. By sorting through the clutter in your home, you can learn more about your inner self and bring about spiritual renewal and healing.
3. Eat simple, healthy food and donate the extra money to charity; it’s not easy to overcome an appetite, but if the time limit is only 40 days, maybe we can do it. When the Easter meal comes, it will be a reward for restraining our appetite.
1. Try reducing the amount of time spent on computers and phones – bringing freedom to the mind.
2. Don’t badmouth others, don’t complain about others and don’t be self-critical; our words can make or break a person. Practise not saying negative things to make someone’s life better.
3. Not to worry, not to be proud, not to annoy others, not to keep ourselves too busy, and to be able to be quiet and pray.
Moreover, we can try to establish good habits:
1. Keeping a daily gratitude diary to record what we are grateful for throughout the day.
2. To walk for 20 minutes in the early morning hours for a healthy spirit and body.
3. To compliment others every day for 40 days.
4. To read a book that is good for life.
5. Buying lunch for a friend or colleague.
6. Write a letter of gratitude to someone by hand.
7. Choose only water for your beverage throughout the day.
By giving up one’s favourite, even obsessive, possessions, improving one’s diet and relaxing one’s focus on money, a freer life is brought about.
For Christians around the world, Lent is an important time of spiritual growth. After Lent’s time of self-discovery, repentance, generosity, simple living and prayer, we are better able to celebrate Easter and experience the joy of new life.