so tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of lent. this is a liturgical time (or time of worship) of fasting and praying, for the forty days that precede easter (well actually it’s more than 40 days, but you don’t count sundays). traditionally, there are three practices, or ‘justices’ taken up: justice towards God (prayer), justice towards self (fasting), and justice towards neighbor (this is referred to as ‘almsgiving’, which is like charitable giving).
now, my thought on this is…shouldn’t we be praying, fasting and charitably giving ALL the time?
i’ve been learning a lot about liturgy and the tradition behind ash wednesday, clean monday, passion sunday, spy wednesday…etc., and it continues to amaze me at the things people “give up” for lent.
soda. alcohol. tv. certain websites (facebook anyone?). as the great jacob vanhorn once said, “bro, if you need to give that up for forty days because it’s an idol in your life, maybe you need to think about giving it up all together.” and as the even greater CHRISTIE vanhorn once said (in the context of talking to her friend about lent), “maybe you should do something for someone else that requires a sacrifice on your part, and not make it about you.”
i think those are both such good points (and…reason 23423 that team vanhorn continues to rock my face off. i have absolutley no face left for REAL!) with this idea of incorporating justice towards God, self, and your neighbor. and maybe lent is a good time of year to refocus on these things, ultimately incorporating them into our daily rhythms.
it’s crazy to think that back in the day…people would fast from all any all animal products and only eat a small meal at sundown, containing no meat (obviously) and no alcohol. there were some variations on this, for example, some places allowed fish and others ended the daily fast at 3pm, but you get the idea. i wonder how many of us could do this today?? i don’t want to. i’m just being honest. maybe this makes food an idol? WOW!
ok. let me hear your thoughts now, and what, if anything, you are doing to celebrate lent.
thanks for reading.
ps you can listen to some lent podcats here.