As Ash Wednesday begins this week, the 40-day period of Lent is seen as “training for and engaging in spiritual warfare,” according to The Federalist. “The culture war is a spiritual war,” making it more critical for Christians to be focused on Christ.
From The Federalist:
In a time of increasing government-backed hatred for Christians across the West, penitential seasons and practices can help build the spiritual strength to sustain Christians individually and collectively for tougher times ahead. And amid our culture’s deepening darkness, there’s no better response than to repent, fast, and pray. ... Some add “fasts” of not just food but also of enjoyments, not as punishment but to practice self-denial and obedience so we are better capable of denying ourselves and taking up our crosses when suffering arises in our lives, as it does to all. It’s common today for Christians to give up entertainment screen time, personal indulgences such as spending on non-necessary items or the morning latte, and special foods such as desserts and alcohol. Also customary is increasing charitable giving and acts of service. Lent is not just about taking away things, as my pastor tells his people; it’s also about adding. Another pastor I know donates what he would have spent on missed meals to a charity that feeds poor children, another long-practiced Christian custom. Many also like to donate to food pantries or others in need such as the families of men studying to be pastors. Children can help with this.