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By this point, many of you are probably well underway with your Lent vows.  It’s been a couple of weeks, and you may find yourself seriously yearning for chocolate or social media or whatever you may have given up.  Well, did you know that this season has a built-in break for you?  Time for a little math:

Image Source: North Cornwall Cluster of Churches

Lent is supposed to be 40 days, but between Ash Wednesday (March 5th this year) and Easter Sunday (April 20th), there are roughly 46 days.  Why the discrepancy?  Since we observe Sunday as the Sabbath, that makes it a day of rest, and that technically includes resting from our Lent vows.  On Sundays during Lent, Christians are allowed to break from our fasts and celebrate for just a day, setting aside the serious tone of Lent and resting in the peace of God.   At the same time, for the diehards out there, there’s nothing that says you have to take a break from your Lent vows on Sundays; in fact, depending on what you have given up, it may even be easier just to stick to it and push on through to Easter.

Regardless of whether you fast for 40 days or 46, I would encourage you to give your spirit a break on these Sundays.  Lent is a time of serious reflection, and it is designed to be a very somber season . . . except for the Sundays.  Some denominations even describe the Sundays in Lent as “Little Easters”, a time to pull our heads up from self-examination and discipline and turn our eyes toward Christ’s coming resurrection and the unfathomable joy that accompanies it.  Sundays in Lent are a reminder that, even in seasons of suffering, the light of the resurrection is constantly shining on the horizon.  So whether you keep your fast on Sundays or not, take some sort of rest on these days and remember that the joy of Christ’s resurrection can pierce any darkness.

Grace and Peace,