Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lent

So, there's big discussion amongst mis comrades (made up spanish word)(that's pretty much my m.o. in spanish) about what they are giving up for Lent. One friend is giving up cheese, which is a major sacrifice for her, and another is giving up bread, which I think is a big deal for her, too. So we (no-cheese-for-40-days-girl) were talking today and she really got me thinking...she does that on a fairly regular basis, and I am eternally grateful to her for this (my hope is that we all have friends in our lives whom are radically different from us in our views, but whom we love and deeply respect-- it's especially good if we have a common love for Jesus, like my friend and I have)(but I digress). At any rate. She and our other friend both come from faith backgrounds that practice Lent-- I grew up in a denomination where we really didn't even talk about Lent, so it's never been part of my faith tradition. But this season means something to my friend-- enough for her to have given up meat last year for Lent, and this year, choosing to give up something she says she eats "at least a pound and a half of a week".

So it occurred to me: why is it not occurring to me to lay something down in honor of Christ's suffering in the desert and on the cross? It has been on my mind all day, and I have to say that it's hard. I've fasted before-- total fasting, water only-- but to lay down something for 40 days...

It's a personal thing-- my friend was just telling me her story, what she's choosing to do, but I felt something stir in my spirit, so I will be participating in Lent for the first time ever. I think of Paul, who said, "I want to KNOW CHRIST and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Phil. 3:10). Whatever we can do to draw closer to Him, and to keep the profound mystery of His beauty and His most precious sacrifice at the front of our minds-- these are the things we should attain to, in whatever form they find themselves in our lives.

I'm posting a couple of interesting links, in case you're interested.
Much love to you all--
Samantha

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/lent.shtml
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09152a.htm

1 comment:

Caroline said...

could you write a better intro to worship on sunday?!!!

actually, our church is pretty active in celebrating lent, and that should be more apparent this year in our service. tonight will begin the lenten season with the ash wednesday service at 6:20 p.m. (little plug there, sorry).

i'm giving up television/movies/etc. it's time to create some quiet space in our lives.

lent begin as a time created by the early church for new followers of christ. before they made a lifechange, they would spend 40 days, this reflecting christ's time in the wilderness before his ministry, to contemplate their decision to give their life to Christ.

lent is a time for up to create an open space for God to transform our inner lives. many people give up something; it is also part of the tradition to take up something. add a spiritual discipline to your life to replace what you are giving up. for instance, fill the time that you usually spend watching t.v. with prayer. :0 it works.

actually, the season of lent is a bigger deal historically on the religious calendar than the season of advent.

check my blog; i've already posted this week's newspaper article there. it talks about lent and the discipline of silence. it ties with your idea here. i'm thrilled to see you joining in. keep me posted on how it goes.