I was thinking about what I was going to give up for Lent this year. I have done a lot of things in the past. I gave up salsa one year, all meat another year, and just red meat still another. But one thing I have found to be beneficial for my own edification is giving up my time. I have been choosing something to read in forty days that will take some dedication and sacrifice.
Q: Do Lutherans have to give up something for Lent as some other denominations require?
A: From the perspective of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, “giving something up for Lent” is entirely a matter of Christian freedom. It would be wrong, from our perspective, for the church to make some sort of “law” requiring its members to “give something up for Lent,” since the Scriptures themselves do not require this. If, on the other hand, a Christian wants to give something up for Lent as a way of remembering and personalizing the great sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for our sins, then that Christian is certainly free to do so—as long as he or she does not “judge” or “look down on” other Christians who do not choose to do this.
I decided this year I wanted to read through the Book of Concord. As Lutherans, we believe the Book of Concord to be an accurate description of what Holy Scripture teaches. Even if you have read all of the Confessions before, now would be a great time to go through them again! Will you join me? Below you will find a link to a forty-day reading plan for the Book of Concord with page references to Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, 2nd Edition. If you decide to join me, feel free to discuss how it’s going and what you are learning with me on Twitter! You can connect with me at either @jtwillmann or @cpheducation.