Southern Baptist. Why Lent?

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Most people don’t realize that my family has deep Catholic and Episcopalian roots. It is a long story as to how we ended up Southern Baptist and why I chose to stay Southern Baptist as an adult, but I guess there is a part of my family heritage that seems to flow a little harder through my veins this time of year. There are many things that I LOVE about being Southern Baptist and then there are things that I just don’t feel that we get quite right and the season of Lent is one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, Easter is absolutely important and the very basis of our beliefs on salvation and we believe without Easter weekend, there would be no way to have eternal salvation. We believe that Christ was crucified on the cross for our sins and died. He was buried and then He ROSE three days later and ascended into Heaven. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection, once we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we can be saved and live for eternity in Heaven with Him.

Romans 5:8
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Back to Lent. As a child in a Southern Baptist Church, the season of Lent was not observed and it wasn’t until college that I made the personal choice to start observing Lent. For me personally, it was taking time to reflect on what Easter really means. Yes, there are things that I choose to give up for the season of Lent, but it pails in comparison the sacrifice that Christ made for me. Also, I don’t take breaks from my “sacrifice” on Sundays and I follow through until Easter Sunday.

In years past, I have always given up cokes and sweet tea and some years chocolate, but since none of that is a part of my daily diet, I don’t feel like it is appropriate to choose those things this year. It was a struggle to choose what I would be giving up this year and the Lord reminded me of the journey He has had me on since Sept. The Bible talks about our bodies being a temple and that is an area in which I have struggled:

I Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Over the past several years, I have greatly neglected my “temple” and made several negative choices where my body is concerned. While I have made great progress, I am not where I would like to be and what better time to focus on this than the season of Lent?

For Lent this year, I will be once again going a clean eating challenge and this is what that looks like:
1) Drinking only water. No milk, tea, juice, smoothies, etc…
2) Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.
3) Eating only lean meats, like turkey, chicken and shrimp as long as they are grilled or broiled. No steak, other types of beef or pork.
4) No desserts or sweets.

Since I am training for 2 different 5Ks, I also plan to walk/ jog 10-15 miles per week.

I encourage you to take the time and find out what it means to observe Lent and then pray about whether or not you should participate. This does not have to be something legalistic in nature, but one that helps you reflect on the season of Lent and what Easter means to you and your salvation.   

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