I greet you in the mighty and matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
COMMiT to Invite
Just a few weeks ago, we shared with you our church’s new COMMiT 2020 campaign. Our focus in February was to COMMiT to Invite—and I can see that, even in the second half of this past month, you jumped right in and brought your people to church. Thank you.
Not only did you each commit individually, but our collective commitment helped us to meet our goal of averaging no less than 15 visitors per Sunday. Again, thank you—and I hope you felt a part of the bigger work that Christ is doing on Earth.
If you are just now joining us for COMMiT 2020, you are still right on time. COMMiT 2020 is a journey for the people who both call SEUCC home and long to grow as Disciples of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of each month, we will share with you (1) our monthly commitment; (2) what it means for us as followers of Jesus Christ; and (3) some tools to aid in the journey.
Look, I know your life is full of commitments. The question is: why make another? First, because God remains committed to you. Secondly, because I believe that these commitments will create transformation within you. Finally, if we all work on the same commitment as a faith community, it will impact our church family for the better. It is time for us to COMMiT.
We are in a season called Lent, a period of forty days that Christians observe every year just before Easter (typically from late February to early April). The Lenten season begins on a day known as Ash Wednesday (about six weeks before Easter) and continues until Easter Sunday—not counting the Sundays in between, as they are still considered days of celebration. A significant part of Lent is fasting.
The History of Lent & Fasting
The idea of Lent began during the third and fourth centuries. The number of days is based on the Biblical significance of the number 40—specifically, the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert and Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness.
Therefore, many Christians describe the 40-day Lenten season itself as a journey in the wilderness. Lent represents a time of searching for God amidst the brokenness of life—a season of intentional fasting before a time of feasting. And historically, many Christians have given up something during Let as a symbolic way to mark their journey and refocus their energy on their relationship with God.
It is common to see Christians fasting from certain foods or drinks. Some skip a meal each day or give up specific things such as meat, caffeine, alcohol or sweets. Others give up more random pleasures such as social media or online shopping; television or listening to music. It is important to remember that none of these things are inherently bad, sinful or evil. Yet any of these pleasers can easily become more important in our lives to neglect the fostering of our relationship with God.
March 2020: COMMiT to Fasting
This year, the season of Lent takes place primarily in March. In remembrance of Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness, we also fast to prepare ourselves for the true meaning of Easter. Committing to fasting means to abstain from a specified and regular practice, that might bring joy or comfort, in order to draw nearer to God and understand the sacrifice Christ made.
WEEK 1 (March 1)
Clarify your fasting regimen by writing down your fasting commitment for 2020
WEEK 2 (March 8)
COMMiT to attend Tuesday night prayer. When we fast, we must couple it with prayer.
WEEK 3 (March 15)
COMMiT to joining our Wednesday morning prayer call.
WEEK 4 (March 22)
Listen intently for how God is speaking to you during your fast. Journal about what you are hearing.
Getting Started to COMMiT to Fasting
So, let’s get started. Draw close to God and know that God honors fasting and prayer.
- Let this video inform you about Lent.
- Here are some interesting ideas to consider for your fast.
- Here is a great book to read during lent by my friend, Dr. Nicole Massie Martin, who has preached at SEUCC: Leaning In, Letting Go: A Lenten Devotional.
- Review this Fasting Guide and check out this list of Fasting Recipes.
Don’t forget to grab some invite cards from the Guest Services desk on Sunday and hand them out at the barber shop, gas station or a family gathering.
I am excited to journey with you in these commitments.
Blessings as we COMMiT 2020,