Sunday, 13 March 2011

A Pause In Lent #1

A Pause in Lent Floss

I have been listening to people chatting, and reading other blogs, all about their plans for Lent. At the Pancake Party on Tuesday, I had a great conversation with one young lad all about the reasons for Lent. Having understood it to be a time of abstinence from all that is enjoyable, he seemed quite interested to know that there are lots of ways of approaching the season.

I decided that my first Lenten Pause would be to consider some of these ideas- and so the post should probably be subtitled

Up, Up And Away!

Various friends of mine are planning to spend their 40 days in an assortment of activities, which can loosely be summarised in this list…

Give Up

Take Up

Give Away

Take In

Give In

Take On

Give Out

Take Off

Some expansion of these ideas [some of them overlap a little, but that doesn’t matter]

Give Up – STOP – the ‘traditional’ Lent idea of abstinence. No chocolate or alcohol or puddings or shouting at the children! I Peter 2:11

no booze

Take Up – START- use this time to begin a new activity. A morning run or 20 minutes prayertime each evening. It takes 21 days to build a habit into your daily routine, so by Easter, this should be well established. Psalm 61:8


Give Away – SHARE- acknowledge you have been really blessed, so give something away each day. Clothes to a charity shop, money to a good cause, time to help somebody. You will be amazed how you will be blessed by this activity! Luke 3:11


Take In – STUDY – if Lent is time to grow closer to God, then set aside time to dig deeper into His Word. Plenty of plans and programmes out there to help you. 2 Timothy 2:15

bible reading

Give In – SURRENDER – Is there something preventing you getting closer to God? Something you should be doing [eg becoming a Christian or seeking baptism/church membership] which you have been fighting against? Does the desire to make more money/get promotion fill your thoughts? Or is there an activity/relationship which gets in the way of your faith? Use this time of Lent to pray about it, and surrender yourself to God. Luke 16:13


Take On – SUPPORT- Maybe there is something you ought to be doing in your church/community/family to support someone else. As the spring blossoms peep through the cold earth, look round you to see where you could bring colour and joy to others. James 2:16


Give Out – SERVE – We should be bearing one another’s burdens – and sometimes that means putting ourselves out to serve someone else. Lent is a good time to re-evaluate what we are doing. Galatians 6:2


Take Off – SHED – you have more than you need – why are you keeping it, if you are not using it, and it could bless someone else? And if the accumulation of possessions is absorbing your time, it may be preventing you growing in simple faith and trust. Hebrews 12:1


I am not suggesting anybody attempts all off these ideas – or that the bible verses which I’ve picked are the only appropriate ones. And I admit to stretching my alliterations to make every topic begin with S! Just remember…

Make Lent A Time Of Give And Take!


  1. This is a good, comprehensive list, Angela! Thanks!

  2. Great ideas, Angela!
    I will be talking about our take on 'giving up' for Lent in a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to seeing your future Lent posts.
    Jane x

  3. Hi, Angela!
    I got my post up late today. So, finally I am hopping around visiting and appreciating the insights here at "A Pause in Lent". I've never given anything up for Lent. I remember Lenten services when I was a child and I found the sanctuary even more hospitable on Wednesday evenings. I think I'm craving that inclusion in the flock.

  4. I enjoyed that. It is interesting seeing what different people think of Lent. When I was a child it was about giving up, tieing the idea of sacrifice, fasting and resolutions together. As I got older it became about taking something up, doing something good that mattered or made a difference to yourself or others. Then as I became an adult I found myself in a church that largely ignores Lent, and the rest of the church calendar and it became more personal and more varied from year to year as I have looked at what it means wherever I am at that point.

    I'm hoping to take part in A Pause for Lent on my writing blog.

  5. This is such a useful list! I usually focus on giving something up (this year--buying books, used or new--this is big for me!), but I like the idea of also using it as a time to shed things and share things. Thanks for this, Angela!


  6. Good stuff!
    I remember reading The Von Trapp's book and how at Lent, they money they saved by fasting meats (all through Lent, and not just on Fridays) they gave for food to the poor in their community. Your list reminds me of that.


  7. I had such a lovely time visiting and reading several of your Lent 2011 posts including this one with such great ideas for things to do, meditations, and ways to teach kids. Very delightful. I love to use Lent as a time to focus on Jesus' death and resurrection when I'm looking for things to read to my grandkids, along with our Easter resurrection eggs. Thanks for even more intriguing ideas for Lent.


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