Lent has become increasingly, perhaps overwhelmingly popular among protestants in the last 10 years. I think much about Lent is incredibly helpful. Among other things it helps us reflect on the depth of our discipleship and remember the enormity of God’s Grace.
However I do worry we are perhaps missing a bit of Protestant theology and heritage, as Mike Frost discusses in the blog linked above, I would ask you to read what he has to say.
I think there is a danger we fall into a sort of legalism about giving up things for Lent. It can also easily become a badge of spirituality that can feed our pride. When we announce that “I am giving up social media for Lent” or I am giving up “Netflix for Lent” (both of which announcements I have read today) we are in danger of becoming like the Pharisees Jesus condemned for parading their spirituality in public.
So this year, I am giving up, giving up things, for Lent and I will certainly be having some Swiss sausage and a beer to toast Zwingli and his reminder not to surrender Christian freedom to legalism too easily.
My advice to other believers, give up whatever you like for Lent if it will be spiritually beneficial for you, but don’t give up anything because you feel pressurised to and certainly don’t broadcast what you are giving up.