Ecumenical News International

Council Chair Urges a Lenten Period without Excuses

March 10, 2011

Düsseldorf (epd). Präses Nikolaus Schneider, the chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), reemphasized the spiritual dimension of fasting in the period leading up to Easter. The goal is to renounce things and behaviors that hamper our relationship with God or other people, he said in an article published in the Düsseldorf newspaper Rheinische Post (Thursday edition).

For example, excuses can upset relations with God and others, he said. Fundamentally, however, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ rather than fasting are the foundation and core of Christian belief. The theme "I did it! Seven weeks without excuses" of the Protestant 2011 Lenten campaign aptly reminds people of the Christian theology of the cross. This can give Christians a new perspective on life for every day, including fasting days as well as holidays.

Traditionally, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 40 days before Easter. Renouncing food and drink serves as a means of penance and spiritual renewal.  Numerous Christians also devote more time to reflection and prayer. In addition, fasting should foster a more responsible attitude toward the environment.



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