Did Someone Say LENT?

The following is from the desk of Jennifer Page.  I am with her.  This is one time of year I really enjoy for three reasons.  

1) I am joining many millions of believers in actual intercession, seeking to be more like Him and conformed to His death, that of our Lord.

2) Despite my obvious Pentecostal leanings, I remember what my Methodist pastor, Richard Nussel once told me. “Don’t forget where you come from.”  Unlike most Pentecostals I have encountered who came out of high-church traditions with the testimony they were delivered from that bondage, I actually hold my 14 Methodist years as a precious gift from God, during which my mother and the church of which I was part protected me from our hometown’s fundamentalists and evangelicals who balked at my understanding of salvation and relationship with Christ.  To this day, every time this year comes around, I remember to pray specifically for the movement of the Holy Spirit within the UMC, desiring the Lord break through and out amongst the membership.  I pray for the fruition of a dream I was given years ago in Nashville.  

3) I still affirm Wesley as the preeminent theologian of the last 500 years, who himself fasted Wednesdays and Fridays, and mandated the same practice on anyone upon whom he laid hands.  This is the reason so many modern day believers do not flow the way they should flow (independence from relying on the Holy Spirit).  They forget the part of the text that says, “WHEN you fast.” 

And so, without further adeiu:

From the desk of Jennifer Page

I’m actually the wierdo that LIKES this time of year when Christians all over the world enter a season of fasting and prayer together called Lent. (By the way, it starts TOMORROW! Are YOU ready…?)
Most often, those of us who participate in Lent will decide to give up something for the season, like chocolate. Most people I know like to grumble about this practice, and even fewer people I know actually do it, but I like to challenge myself to make each year harder than the one before. Over time, it grew to encompass more than just my diet.
For example, last year I gave up, among other things, sleeping in a bed, hot water for bathing, and changed my diet. Already accustomed to eating just one meal a day most of the time, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted for those meals only on Sundays and Wednesdays when I was going to be around my family or at church. The other five days out of the week, (when you weren’t looking), I could only have soup and bread once a day, and whatever I wanted to drink that wasn’t carbonated.
It wasn’t the uncomfortable rest sans bed or the freezing water for bathing that was hard. It was the work of going about my daily life, just another ordinary church-going neighborhood gal.
I got to see food, smell food, carry food, watch OTHER people EAT food, *and* clean up after them…all day long, five to seven days a week, (but never on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights).
And if you wouldn’t mind tipping me, by the grace of GOD, I might be able to pay the bills this week. Thanks.
P.S. Don’t forget to smile.
…all Lent long. …and still keep up with daily study of the Scriptures and the regular office hours for prayer. (YOU try it, score a 10 on the nice scale, and thEn come talk to me.)
It was hard.
But that’s what I say on the other side of it now. Just like the year before that and the year before that. But going into Lent is always the same, too, even though what I do is different each year. Because I like to make it harder than it was the year before.
So every year there is always the same tension with GOD even though no two seasons of Lent have ever been the same from one year to the next. It usually goes something like this:
“NO-O-O…! I can’t…!” I yell at HIM honestly, tears streaming down my face. “How can YOU even ask me to do that?! That’s too hard! I CAN’T DO IT!!!” And I throw a two-year-old tantrum in the privacy of my living room alone with HIM.
“Exactly,” HE says to me.
You want to know what Lent is about? What does it mean? Why would you ever do you do that to yourself?
That’s it right there.
“NO-O-O…! I can’t…!How can YOU even ask me to do that?! That’s too hard! I CAN’T DO IT!!!”
That’s Lent.

Well put, sister Page.


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