Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | March 5, 2020

The Strong Word – March 2020

 

Many choose to begin the year by celebrating Veganuary, to abstain from animal based food products, others have gone vegetarian, or alcohol free and some have signed up to the gym to bring some discipline to their bodies after Christmas and New Year festivities.

It is interesting to note a variety of diets on the market. A popular one is the 5:2 diet when for five days normal food levels are eaten then for two days there is a time of fasting.

As we find ourselves approaching Lent as part of the Church calendar, we use this time to prepare for Easter. The Church has for Centuries encouraged 40 days abstention during Lent, a time of cutting out rich food and certain pleasures in order to be better ready for Good Friday and the joy of Easter Day.

Lent has long been this time of abstention, to honour God and prepare our soul. The result is benefit to Body and Soul. To honour God means we also receive a blessing, for God knows what is best for us – body, mind and soul. We have more by having less!

I find it interesting and sad that the world often copies the best of the Christian ways, and makes Veganuary or whatever a secular worldly expression which only concerns the body and mind, neglecting the soul. It is so typical of the modern world, we exclude God from just about everything, then copy his ideas but lack the eternal and the spiritual.

What is more there is a pride in all this. A person can feel so good to do something to make a difference to body or mind or our carbon footprint. It can make us boastful and feel really good about such abstentions, a sort of high, when “I” am at the centre, and the reason for the abstention, not God.

A group of people once asked Jesus:- “what must we do to do the works God requires?” He answered:- “believe in the one he sent” (John 6 v.28&29) believing is the thing. Not doing though, we might encourage faith sometimes by doing or abstaining.

May our Lent season be a time when we do clear space, we do seek the Lord’s face, maybe going without something in order that there can be room for blessing from God himself. The Lord can and will bless us, speak to us, and increase trust in him, he will, for he has promised he will.

 


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