Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent - the time of preparation for Holy Week and Easter.
Traditionally this is a time of fasting and giving, of repentance and reflection.
I came across this recently:
"Lent is a time of fasting in the run up to Holy Week and Easter. Fasting involves both giving things up and taking things on.
GIVING THINGS UP
Someone who is fasting might give up food during daylight, for example, or a particular type of food. They might give up a behaviour that hurts themselves or others, like smoking, excessive drinking, or judging others. This would involve honest self-examination, a sort of stock take on behaviour. This can lead to people apologising, either to God or to others, for things they have done wrong, and even to long reaching lifestyle changes.
TAKING THINGS ON
It’s not just about giving up negative stuff, it’s also about taking on positive stuff. This might mean giving money to charity or getting involved in social justice projects or campaigns that help the needy. It could be something as simple as popping round to check an elderly relative is ok. It very often involves taking on a commitment to pray more regularly, to find a healthy and sustaining spiritual pattern and rhythm."
Reflecting on this I have decided to have two very simple meals a day (such as dry bread, dry rice, porridge made with water).
I am hoping to learn from this what it must be like for the millions of people who live on very little and do without the many luxuries which I am lucky to enjoy.
Any money I save by eating such simple food rather than buying lunches etc will go to charity. (Although I haven't decided on a charity yet. Any suggestions?)
Will you give up anything or take up something this Lent?