Swearing, Fish, and Fridays
Have you ever heard of Lent? I don't mean lent as in the past or past participle of the word 'lend.' I mean the season of Lent. Here's the definition of Lent (the noun, not the verb) from dictionary.com: an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
I did not grow up Roman Catholic. I also did not grow up Episcopal (Anglican). You could say that I have always belonged to a "certain other church."
The church I am a part of did not observe Lent when I was growing up. I thought Lent was that time of the year when some of my friends couldn't eat meat on Fridays. So they ate fish on Fridays instead. It also meant that they had to "give something up." My friends "gave up" swearing, pop, gum, math, and the list goes on.
It was a few years after High School before I realized the significance of Lent. Lent for me is not about giving something up or eating fish on Fridays (and there is nothing wrong with either one of those things by the way). This time of year is about removing distractions from my life and focusing on Jesus.
Lent is a time for me to grow in my walk with Christ. I find myself making more time in my day to read, pray, and reflect. Every day I am reminded of my human nature - anger, pride, apathy, and the list goes on and on. During this season I give thanks to Jesus for taking these things away from me. He died on the cross and took my wrong-doings with Him to the grave.
Lent has meaning for me now. It's 40+ days of reflection. It's a time to repent. It's a time to change. It's a time to remember that some of me still has to surrender and die.
It's also a time to remember that the grave had no power over Jesus Christ! Jesus not only died and went to the grave, but He rose again! Lent ends with a celebration! On Easter we celebrate that Jesus is alive!
I've been enjoying the season of Lent so far this year. I have been celebrating all that Christ has done in my life and I look forward to all that He will do in the future!
How about you? What does Lent mean to you? I would be excited to hear your answer!
Until Monday, Josh