Giving Something up for Lent


Back in January Ben Stokes, the cricketer, achieved a career-defining innings of 258 under the bright skies of Cape Town. There was much discussion about how he did it including what he had for breakfast that day.  I doubt whether his ham omelette made a lot of difference, but they do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It can also, in my opinion, be one of the most enjoyable.  One of the perks of Cub camp, or an early morning ferry, is the chance to enjoy a cooked breakfast.


The name breakfast is used for the first meal of the day because this was when people broke the fast they had been keeping from midnight. When receiving Holy Communion it was thought to be important to prepare not only your mind, but your body too, by making sure that the first food of the day was the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  This was why, in the past, so many services of Holy Communion took place at eight o’clock in the morning or earlier.


We are about to go into the season of Lent and we are encouraged to give something up, which is basically another way of saying that we are to fast. The whole point of all those pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is to use up some of the treats!


Fasting, however, isn’t very popular with the exception of those on diets; probably because people can’t see the point of it.


Christians are encouraged to fast because Jesus told us it was a good thing to do. If we are do it then there is nothing like having support, which is why we are encouraged to do it altogether in Lent.


If we can give something up it shows that God matters to us more than our favourite food or drink. Fasting also reminds us that human beings area unity of body and soul.  Looking after the body is just as important, as looking after the mind in Christian life.


Just in case the forty days of Lent seems a bit much to give something up for then remember that Mothering Sunday, which is half-way through, gives you a total break and you are allowed a bit of relaxation on the other Sundays too.


Father Michael

Posted By: valerie

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