We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.

Do You Need to Starve a Little?

penance

Sarah (Rosenau) Korf via Compfight

Here’s a challenging reflection on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent by Kurt Willems. He notes that Lent is a season where we choose to starve ourselves of our little idols in order to join Jesus in the desert, and he lists several benefits of this particular kind of starving. Are you observing Lent this year? This article will help to orient you on the work you’re doing in your soul.

From the blog:

This particular season, Lent, is a time to enter into the dark places within our souls. We are invited to allow the Holy Spirit to search us and to know our hearts. We call attention to the things that bind us up from living out the reality of the Kingdom of God and attempt to starve them. In a nation of affluence and values that often corrupts the beauty of the cross, sometimes our gluttonous lives need to have a time to experience a hint of starvation. For some this is literal (those who fast from food during Lent) and for others this is metaphorical (those who starve their subtle idols). Here, Robert Webber offers more insight:

We too easily forget our Maker and Redeemer; replacing God with things and ambition. Lent is the season that does something about this situation. It calls us back to God, back to the basics, back to the spiritual realities of life. It calls us to put to death the sin and the indifference we have in our hearts toward God and our fellow persons. And it beckons us to enter once again into the joy of the Lord–the joy of a new life born out of a death to the old life. That is what Ash Wednesday is all about–the fundamental change of life required of those who would die with Jesus and be raised to a new life in him.

My default, often influenced by my American affluence, is to abstractly believe in “the fundamental change of life required of those who would die with Jesus and be raised to new life in him,” but to concretely reach for comfort. Ash Wednesday is a chance to confront these sorts of tendencies—to starve them.

Related Reading

What do you think of the “Penal Substitution” view of the atonement?

If asked what Jesus came to do and how he did it, most contemporary western Christians would automatically say something like, “Jesus took the punishment from God that I deserved.” This is what’s usually called “Penal Substitution” view of the atonement, for it emphasizes that Jesus was punished by God in our place. His sacrifice…

The Phinehas vs. Jesus Conundrum

I’ll be frank. This is not a blog that will be easy for some people to read. But it’s a blog I believe every follower of Jesus should read – even if you have to force yourself to press on. It’s about something we all wish was not true. It’s about the way the Bible…

Sermons: Resurrection Principle

Is the resurrection of Jesus true?  The entire Christian faith rests on if is or not. In this short sermon clip, Greg Boyd goes through a few historical proofs as to why this is true. It is important to remember Christ’s resurrection and the meaning, purpose and principle behind it. In the full sermon, Greg…

Topics:

God Became a Zygote

Has the Christmas story become so familiar that you’ve lost any sense of how spectacular it is? The great creator of the universe became a microscopic zygote. The all-powerful being who spoke the stars into existence came in a very small and vulnerable way. He crossed an infinite distance to become one of us. You can watch…

The Cross Reveals God’s Love

The central way Christ functions as the perfect image and exact representation of God is by dying on the cross. While Christ’s entire life manifests the true God, Christ came primarily to die. It was his death that defeated the devil and freed us from bondage. The one who does what is sinful is of…

The Cruciform Way of the Lamb

In this video, Greg offers insight into how to read the Bible with the cross at the center of the revelation of God, thereby reframing how we interpret the violent and nationalistic passages of the Old Testament. Travis Reed from The Work of the People did a series of interviews with Greg a while ago and…