What are you up to this Lent?

For some people, Lent means taking a break from social media and using their time to communicate to God.

What you need to know:

TIME TO SACRIFICE. In Christianity, Lent represents the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. Zuurah Karungi explores how different people are passing the period.

Lent is upon us and traditionally this is a time to give something up for 40 days. Some people will repent of their sins, seek mercy, fast, pray, commemorate the death of Christ and celebrate Easter. You have to give up things in order to be filled; remember only the hungry can be filled with good things. But what should you pick and why do people do it?

Dr Andrew Waswa Bukenya of Naguru Hospital, says the three pillars of lent are: almsgiving, prayer and fasting.
“I have decided to do more of charity this lent, to fulfill the pillar of almsgiving alongside fasting and praying,” Dr Bukenya says, adding, “So many people need our help, especially the old and young children on streets, I will use this season to spend on them the least I have.”

Emmanuel Kakuba, a social worker, says he aims at repenting the sins he has committed.
“I would like to ask God for forgiveness because as human beings we make many mistakes in life, so this period I am repenting all the sins I have done, however big or small, and I have promised myself never to repeat them,” he says.
Just like Kakuba, Evelyn Aganyira is also aiming at repenting since the last lent.
“We sin all the time knowingly and unknowingly, so this lent I will repent all the sins I have committed and ask God to always guide in the right path whenever I am going astray,” she says.

Pray more
Going for mass is not just a Sunday ritual. No, it means stepping out of the mentality to only wait for a particular day. Mark Asiimwe, a student at Makerere University, says he will use this season to pray more to God than he has been doing.
“I have resolved to go for mass daily; by going for 7am mass and and end it with evening mass,” says Asiimwe. Through this, he believes he will have dedicated 40 days to God. This too will help him stay away from tempting situations.

Strengthen my faith
Scovia Kamwebaze, a customer relations manager, is using this period to strengthen her faith with God.
“I yearn to seek God’s love, guidance and care more and then love and believe that he is the only one who can help me in all circumstances and no one else,” she notes.
As for Annet Nakazibwe, a teacher, she is renewing herself and her relationship with God because she believes she has committed several mistakes.
“I have to be renewed and changed into what God wants me to be in this world,” she adds.
Maybe you should give up social media for a certain block of time in the afternoon, not so that you can sit around thinking about it but so that you can pray and call one of your family members.
No matter what it is, some are successful and make it all the way to Easter. Others? Not so much.
Just making the effort, though, can be a positive thing, if not to bring yourself closer to God, but as a step in your growth as a person.

Leaders’ take

• Agnes Wotsuna, head of married couples, Uganda Martyrs church kamwokya, says: “Use this period to forgive each other especially the married ones.” She notes that they should be faithful to each other, and avoid adultery.
“If you have fasted something, let’s say alcohol this lent, make sure you leave it for good. We should also teach our children the importance of lent and teach them morals like not stealing, gossiping and much more,” she adds.
• Wotsuna emphasises that married people should use this time to create peace, harmony, true love and faithfulness in their families by being true to each other and very forgiving. She adds that people should use the little they have to help those in need.
• She also advises young girls and women who tempt men of God such as priests to stop because this is a big sin and that whoever has done this should repent and never do it again.
• Charles Owinja, head of Laity at the church, says this period is to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness. He therefore says that every Christian is supposed to fast these 40 days to honour Jesus.
“This period should be for Christians to pray, repent and ask God for forgiveness for whatever wrong they have done, however, this shouldn’t stop at just the lent period but should be a continuous spiritual struggle in our lives even after Lent.” he adds