I have attended a Christian church for most of my life; Disciples of Christ is the denomination. I don't ever recall a discussion about giving up something for the 40 days of this season until a few years ago when one of our ministers presented it during his sermon. Honestly, I'm not sure if I ever have participated but I'm contemplating this year. I know that it starts today so I'd better decide soon.
I found this written by Rev. Dr. Betty M. Green and Rev. Dr. Irvin W. Green that is a pretty good explanation:
"The season of Lent is the period prior to Easter. The period, which lasts from Ash Wednesday to Easter, extends for 40 days (excluding Sundays). The observance of Lent varies greatly among Christians, both in denominational participation, and according to personal practice. It is most prominent in the life of the Catholic Church, but it is valued by members of most denominations as well as non-denominational churches.
Lent is regarded as an opportunity for reflection, as the time approaches to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The contrast of experience and emotion, in recalling these two events is to be expected. It would not be exaggeration to think of Good Friday and Easter as the best and worst events in history. This tension affects the nature of the reflection that believers engage in.
Many believe that the compelling theme of Lent should be remorse. We should, according to this school of thought, be considering our collective guilt, which required Christ to lose his life. Others celebrate the coming of Christ as a divine gift, for which they are grateful. Additionally, the theology of redemption and the new covenant between God and humanity occupy much of the consideration of this season.
Ultimately, persons will determine for themselves how involved they will be in Lenten observation and how to conduct their observance. Congregations, regions, and special shared gatherings will offer opportunities to choose from. These writings seek to be among the resources from which our members and friends can draw."
So, in pondering this decision, I can't help but think that I my ideas that would do me good so how does one find a way to suffer in reference to what Jesus suffered?. Does anyone else struggle with this??? I know that I am an over-anaylizer but it's hard to get past it.
This is one of my ideas:
and the other is giving up added sugar...such as candy, cookies, ice cream, etc.