health http://celstec.biz/wp-admin/includes/export.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>However, Chimpreports talked to Rev. Abraham Lubega the Asst. Vicar at Namirembe Cathedral about the significance of the lent period to Christians and believers at large.
Origin of lent period
According the man of God, the aspect of fasting can be traced back in the Old Testament when the Israelites started moving to the promised land from Egypt where they had been in slavery under the Pharaoh.
“Musa went on top of Mt. Sinai where he spent 40 days fasting before God gave him instructions on how to live in the Promised Land.
From that day God ordered Israelites to at least spend one day fasting in what was termed as the Day of Atonement,” explains the Reverend.
He further explains that there were individual fasts by people who had been given different assignments and set days for fasting before starting their new assignment.
“In the book of Esther (Bible), there was a plan to kill the Jews while in exile which prompted some of them including Esther to fast in order to ask for God’s intervention,” explains the man of God adding that this was done in times of threats to communities in the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, Jesus fasted for 40 days which practice has now been integrated by Christians all over the world citing Jesus as an example according to the Reverend.
According to the Asst. Vicar at Namirembe Cathedral, Ash Wednesday traces its roots from the days of Jesus Christ in the New Testament as the day when Ash from Palm trees was smeared on faces of the people of Jerusalem.
“This happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and was welcome by people waving palm trees which were later kept in the sanctuary before being burnt and ash smeared on their faces on their faces to symbolize the strength of Jesus,” Rev. Lubega explains adding that this helps believers always reflect on Jesus throughout the lent period.
The man of God however explained that due to changes in the world and religion, some sections of Christianity abolished the culture of smearing ash in their faces but rather emphasize prayers on the day.
“After Puritans made it clear that it can be done away with, Protestants then abolished it but our Catholic brothers went ahead with the practice but all this doesn’t matter because we all believers.”
How fasting is done
Rev.Lubega explains how fasting doesn’t have a specific method of practicing it but rather emphasizing commitment and reflecting to God.
“According to Protestants and because of developments, the practice of foregoing food was stopped and emphasis was put on Jesus Christ and the life He went through. We don’t emphasize foregoing food but we don’t condemn it and we think you must reflect on Jesus for the entire 40 days and fast spiritually,” he retorts.
Fasting is of great importance and can be reflected in the initials ‘S.W.O.T’ according to the Church of Uganda Reverend. “S.W.O.T stands for strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats which should be reflected while fasting,” he noted.
The man of God explained that the lent period helps individuals identify where they have been weak in their relationship with God and try to improve.
“Lent period is a time of measuring where your strength has been and see what opportunities lie and can be utilized. It’s also a time of looking for threats that you have in your relationship with God. You are therefore, obliged to weigh the strengths and weaknesses and evaluate yourself.”
He further stressed that fasting is not a punishment but rather a reminder of Jesus’ life and the temptations he went through that we must also go through.
“God loved and still loves us and the symbol of God’s love is Jesus Christ. We have to love God with all our hearts, life and strength,” remarked the man of God.