It’s always intriguing to view what Twitter users report what they are giving up for Lent each year. To my way of thinking, it’s foolish to think of giving up so many of these popular items as a way of penance and focusing on a Lenten journey. Many conflate Lenten give-ups with doing right for the sake of a spiritual experience.
For example, what good does it do to give up lying, hate, smoking, stress, sleep, power, and junk for the 40 days of Lent, when you will likely resume them after Easter.
The entire list of give ups is HERE, thanks to the Open Bible folks.
One rarely hears of taking up a new, encouraging habit during Lent, but my attention was drawn to one denomination’s practice which gives Lent a refreshing direction.
The United Methodist Church (UMC) has created a daily photo. Their website describes this project.
“Will you join this photo-a-day challenge and share with the community how you perceive each word of the day? No explanation needed. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Tag us on your Instagram or on Twitter with #rethinkchurch.
You don’t have to be a great photographer. This project is more about the practice of paying attention and being intentional. If you don’t have Instagram or Twitter, we’d still love for you to share your photos. Just share them on your Facebook page and tag us, or post them on our Facebook wall, in the comment section for each day.
Need a daily reminder? We’ll share them every morning on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Let’s start this 40-day journey together, sharing glimpses of our lives with one another. Let this be an intentional time, even for a few minutes a day, to pause, remember and reflect.
I applaud this approach and look forward to seeing what results from it.