The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbor). Today, some people give up something they enjoy, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.1 Prayer, fasting and almsgiving; these are the three central elements of Lent. Though there is no particular obligation to maintain these elements for forty days from a Biblical view, we are to be reminded that all these elements are Biblical. The pattern of 40 days follow many examples in both Old and New Testament. Furthermore, the church has faithfully celebrated this time. We are not in need of an explicit reference in the Scriptures to celebrate something that the Scriptures itself demands.
I have been reminded of the weakness of my prayer, the poverty of my giving, and my non-existent life of fasting. This is why we need Lent. This is why we need to keep Lent Holy.
Sabbatarianism ought not to be a hindrance to Lent. I firmly believe that both can go hand in hand. In fact, as we fast weekly, the Sabbath can serve as a day of feasting from that which we have fasted. Presbyterians generally look down upon Lent.2 Though I understand the reasoning behind it, we are to look at Lent as a Holy time to reflect upon our sinfulness and our careless endeavors to please God. These need to be days of wilderness wanderings. Even Christ himself went through the wilderness3 and taught us that His faithfulness is our faithfulness.