Usually in the season of Lent, Christians’ fast. We give up things like chocolate, Facebook or coffee. Little did we know mid-way through Lent 2020, we’d give up things far more important than sweets or soda. We stopped meeting together. Stopped seeing each other. Stopped so many things at the beginning days of the pandemic. We sat home on Easter Sunday. Thanks for nothing Covid-19! None of those things we stopped doing were on our fasting list on Ash Wednesday 2020. As we embark in a new season of Lent, maybe in our pandemic-fatigued minds we are thinking, “Lent 2021– Let me count the things I’d gladly give up.”
Let’s give up: masks, social distancing, Zoom meetings, on-line learning, hybrid school schedules, and all other things “Covid” for Lent 2021.
Not so fast (pun intended).
Obviously, we aren’t out of the Covid woods. We still have a few hurdles to jump before this race gets back to normal. Instead of dropping our guard, here are a few suggestions of things we could give up in Lent 2021:
Fast from jumping to conclusions.
Fast from skipping gratitude.
Fast from running our mouths before using our ears.
Fast from stomping on people’s feelings.
Fast from hopping to negative talk.
Fast from leaping to one’s favorite news channel.
Fast from flying off the handle.
Fast from bouncing our initial thoughts on social media.
Fast from shooting ugly looks at those who happen to disagree with our opinions.
Fast from firing off gossipy or rumor-mongering emails
And while we’re at it:
Fast from always expecting to get our way.
Fast from limiting what God can do.
Fast from all those things that get our eyes off Jesus.
Instead let’s win the race and do what the author of Hebrews calls us to do (in the Lenten season or not):
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Lent 2020 didn’t end nearly was well as we had hoped. Lent 2021 might end far better than we imagine if we keep moving upward with our eyes fixed on Jesus.