When I was younger, comfortable in low-evangelical churches where Lent was not observed, the season and its observances always seemed a semi-Catholic imposition. Our school chaplain would wear purple and people gave up eating sugar. That was mostly all I knew about it.
When I came slowly to understand its value, it came with the recognition that you gave up in order to take up. You ate less sugar and prayed more; you gave up time-consuming activities to study the Bible. It was not a matter of fasting for fasting’s sake. It was a matter of fasting from that which was not helpful to feast on that which was.
This is the theme of today’s song from Page CXVI‘s forthcoming “Lent to Maundy Thursday” – a magnificently beautiful song which takes as its theme the kind of sentiment expressed in this meditation by American pastor and writer William Arthur Ward. I hope that this song and my accompanying poem can help you think through what ways you might draw closer to God this Lent and how we can better feast upon Him.
Saturday Before Lent So wake: the world’s asleep with sirens and the truth is whispering through the sleepy day. Stand fast: sweet doom abounds in sinking ground and quicksand-dreams’ oblivion draws you. Hold fast: your hands are slippery and the night will try and try to snatch day from your grasp. Keep alert: false comforts and discomforts come to seize the fallow mind. Pray; stay awake. And feast: the bridegroom’s near; He gives us food for every need. So find your fill in Him.