Are You Giving Up Something for Lent? Or Adding Something In?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

While my own church has never fully participated in Lenten practices, I still like to honor Lent on my own. Jeff and I visited a neighborhood church on Ash Wednesday to begin the Lenten season this year.

Sometimes for Lent I give something up.

But other years I like to add something in.

Are you doing anything differently during the 40 days of Lent this year leading up to Easter Sunday on April 17?

For our featured post this week, Sarah Howley shares four practices you could try for Lent. (And even though Lent has already begun, you can still jump in.)

We’re likely all familiar with three of the practices she mentions:

  • Lament
  • Fasting
  • Prayer

But what intrigues me the most about Sarah’s list is this fourth practice:

  • Integrate

“Rather than abstaining during Lent, there are also those who choose to add to their lives at lent.”

If you’re reading a Lenten devotional or Bible plan during this time, you’re integrating.

For 2022 I’m using Kate Bowler’s Lenten devotional, “A Good Enough Lent: A 40-Day Companion to Read, Reflect, and Pray,” alongside her book, Good Enough. (You can sign up for Kate’s emails and free reflection guide here, if you’re interested.)

But I’m also adding in a yoga journey with Adriene. During these 40 days of Lent, I want to be more aware of the body God gave me. I’m adding in this healthy practice to better appreciate this gift of my flesh from God and be more grateful to God for it.

Yet I’m also aware of this: Even if we are adding in something extra during Lent, we are also giving something up. Maybe it’s sacrificing a chunk of time for a yoga practice or giving up your regular reading for a Lenten reading.

The point of Lent is to focus our minds more on the final days of Jesus’s life, his death, and his resurrection. It’s to reveal our own need for change and ultimate celebration of victory in Christ. It’s to draw us closer to Jesus and his love for us, and in turn to spread more love to others.

So whether you take something away or add something in—or do neither (that’s okay, too!)—during Lent, creating an intention to live more aware of the love of God is always a worthy practice.

Read all of Sarah’s post here, then add your own links below.

Four Biblical Practices for Lent

Are you doing anything special for Lent? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “Are You Giving Up Something for Lent? Or Adding Something In?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Lynn

    “It’s to reveal our own need for change and ultimate celebration of victory in Christ. ” I love that description of Lent. I haven’t officially done anything for Lent, although I do, like you and your husband, attend or listen to a church service that honours Lent. When I was in elementary school, we would weekly do the “stations of the cross” at our church, and I still look back to that time fondly.

  2. Theresa Boedeker

    I first learned about Lent by churches where the focus was on fasting, giving up something. Later I learned about adding something. I love your explination here: “The point of Lent is to focus our minds more on the final days of Jesus’s life, his death, and his resurrection. It’s to reveal our own need for change and ultimate celebration of victory in Christ. It’s to draw us closer to Jesus and his love for us, and in turn to spread more love to others.”

  3. Calvonia Radford

    I’m participating in a group sugar fast this year. Our purpose is to have clarity of mind and thought wo we can focus more on hearing God clearly. I do not generally observe Lent but I do intentionally focus more on Jesus salvific work on the cross.

  4. Linda Stoll

    I like this nudge toward adding in, adding to instead of giving up or taking away. It seems to add to the richness of the season and depth of our anticipation, our deep love for Christ.

    Maybe more than ever?

    Thanks, Lisa. This is thought-provoking. With all that’s been happening in recent days, I needed the recalibration and refocusing you’ve given.

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