Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, or Pancake Day if you are from the UK, and you know what that meant? Yes, it was a time for many religious types to indulge themselves until they were fat and happy with riotous debauchery because over the course of the next forty days they would be going inward and hopefully learning about simplicity thru self-denial and sacrificial offerings during the Lenten Season.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is about preparation for the resurrection. The resurrection is the ultimate understanding and sign that there is life after death. Unfortunately, our inclination as Christians is to rush head long towards Easter Sunday and the entire splendor that comes with the knowledge that our sins have been forgiven.
Of course, many of us do not like to linger in the tragedy that led up to Easter. Yet to experience the authenticity of the Easter season we have to know what it is like to be broken – and Lent is a time of broken people. In short, it is a time to give of ourselves and to forgo certain pleasantries we have come to take for granted.
Growing up, I used to think that Lent was the Time of the Frozen Fish Sticks but things are changing. It seems these days that there is an expanding enthusiasm for the this pre-Easter season of penitence and fasting within the wider established church.
If you are interested, there are some valuable reflections on the meaning of Lent over at utownchurch.
Religion & society 101