Sacrifice during Lent

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Experiences

The tradition of “giving up” some habit, food, or luxury for the 40-day season before Easter began in the early days of the church. At that time, new believers preparing to join the church participated in a time of fasting, study, and discipline as preparation for baptism at Easter. As the church grew, the Lenten fast became required for all members.

Today, some denominations expect every member to give up a behavior or vice for Lent, others encourage it, while still others view it as a man-made tradition to be ignored. Some Christians choose to add a behavior (such as charitable giving, increased prayer, or community service) instead of removing one.

This year a number of people plan to give up Facebook, Twitter, or blogging. Kevin Shine, a 39-year-old man in Pennsylvania, is one of them.

“‘It’s my candy,’ he says in a Wall Street Journal article.

Others share his addiction. Lisandrea Wentland is “hopeful that putting her renunciation of Facebook in the spiritual context of Lent will help,” the article shares. “She’s also joined an online quitting-Facebook-for-Lent support group. (Since the group is hosted on Facebook, none of the members–in theory, at least–will be logging on to comfort one another during their days of trial.)”

Meanwhile, Mr. Shine “fears he may start making [excuses] a few days in. So he’s set up a system that he hopes will keep him on the straight and narrow. He has vowed to drop to the floor and sweat out 10 push-ups every time he even thinks of Facebook. Come Easter, he figures, he’ll be looking pretty buff.”