I can remember I encouraged students at my old church to celebrate lent and I had parents come to me and ask me if I was catholic. I remember thinking that was sort of funny. I grew up Presbyterian and can remember going to chruch on Ash Wednesday and getting the ash mark on my forehead. I never knew I was catholic.
The more I think about, the more I am pursuaded that the people who walked before us were onto something. Lent has been celebrated by the Christian church since around 300ad. It’s a time of repentance, fasting, and confession – all in preparation of Easter and the risen Christ. Unfortunately, many evangelical churches are afraid of traditions. I get it, we don’t want to be rligious just for religion’s sake. We want to follow the Bible (and Lent is not expliciately in the Bible). But I wonder if we have lost something significant. I wonder if we have lost the sense of connection to story larger than our own – the fact that we are jumping into a stream that has been moving for 2000 years. I just want to throw this out there… maybe our celebration of Easter should be more than a service on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Just a thought.
This year I didn’t give anything up for Lent, I decided to take something on instead. During lent this year I am going to try to memorize Galatians (per my pastor’s challenge to us). For me its just a way to center my thoguhts and focus more fully on the one who gave himself for me.