I am not sure about you, but Lent has always flown under the radar for me in my experience of the Christian faith. My Christian background has been influenced by the Free Church tradition, were liturgy and the church calendar often took the backseat to regular weekly church functions, and the obvious pinnacle of the Christian year, Christmas!

As someone reminded me last night, today is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent. My first reaction was to continue my tradition of giving up Lent for Lent, which I think may be missing the point. And what usually happens with this practice of non-observance is that Easter comes out of nowhere, usually just meaning nothing more than an extra church service on Friday, and a chance for some yummy chocolates on Sunday. It’s no wonder that without the preparation practice of Lent, Easter often takes the backseat to Christmas in my Christian faith.

All this to say, I wonder if it isn’t time to wander into the practice of celebrating Lent as a part of my Christian faith. It’s hard to say how this will look. Simply abstaining from something like pop or watching Canucks games, while perhaps helpful (not the Canucks part!) it seems that in my unfamiliarity of the Lenten season I need more then just an outward shift of focus. As Lent is understood as the preparation for celebrating Easter, the recognition of the death and resurrection of Jesus, my practice of Lent needs to capture the essence of what it means to grasp this true meaning.

Before I immerse myself in the tangible practices of Lent, my Lenten commitment must first give up the practice non-observance. It’s easy to abstain from drinking pop as a daily discipline (at least I think so…), but it’s hard to live in faithful preparation towards reflecting on and celebrating the life Jesus lived, gave up, and now continues to live.

Again, how this looks, I am not sure. But my hope is that a meaningful recognition of Lent as a time of preparation for Easter may in fact reveal a deeper understanding of what Easter means for my faith. Maybe I will realize that Christmas isn’t the only pinnacle of the year or my Christian faith.

May the Lenten journey begin…


Angelle said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog...I gotta admit that Julie telling me about the Dwight Bobblehead started me reading it. Anyway this year as I observe Lent for the first time in a couple years, I was reminded of something a Catholic friend of mine told me. Whatever he gave up for the season, every time he was reminded of it, he would spend that extra time meditating on God. So if it was sports, he spent that hour normally spent watching soccer, meditating on God. If it was chocolate, everytime he was offered chocolate or tempted to eat chocolate, he would spend that time taken to eat, meditating on God. It's 6 days in now, and I'm pretty sure I've spent a whole lot more time thinking about God every time I've reached for the thing I gave up for Lent! But yeah, I really like your blog. It's very thoughtful

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