Just a pastoral note: not all Christians give up things for Lent. I’ve been asked about this again this year by Uniting Church folk.
It’s normal for Catholics and for a lot of Anglicans to give up stuff for Lent, but not for Protestants and Pentecostals – not even for Protestants or Pentecostals who fast regularly. There’s a back story, particularly for the traditions that go back to the Reformation in Switzerland (like the Uniting Church in Australia). For us, it all began with a sausage sizzle. You can read my blog of that story here
Of course, UnitingWorld’s Lent Event has given us a great excuse to reassess our aversion to Lenten discipline… Or perhaps it’s just the exception that proves the rule http://www.unitingworld.org.au/
Niall Cooper, Lent: Going Deeper