“What are you giving up for Lent?”
Most people that I know will answer that question this way:
“Nothing. I’m not Catholic.”
Now I don’t necessarily believe that a Christian person must give up something for Lent or anything like that, but that answer seems to indicate that there is some lack of understanding of what Lent is all about. It is not simply a meaningless ritual (well, maybe it is for some), but the intention is:
- Coming to the end of yourself
- Opening ourselves to the world God longs to bring into being
- Starting a new beginning with God
- Planting God’s compassion deep within us
- Challenging our assumptions, anger, and prejudices
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really just sound like a “Catholic” thing to me.
I decided to do something special for Lent this year…I’ll be following the “Lenten Experience Calendar.” Don’t worr,y for you fundamentalists, it’s not some quasi spiritual/neo-Pentecostal thing 🙂 It’s just a bunch of things to do in your regular day-to-day life in order to experience the Lord for yourself in your daily actions over the 40-day Lenten season.
Interestingly, the only one I balked at was day #1: Ash Wednesday. It reads, “Have an ash cross put on your forehead.”
OK. That’s where I said: “Uh…but I’m not Catholic.” And…I think the writer of that calendar (who isn’t Catholic either) would say, “Uh…so?”
Don’t worry, the rest of the 40 days is filled up with cool stuff like:
- Don’t text today—just call
- Fast from coffee, soda, or alcohol
- Buy someone’s coffee or lunch anonymously
So, if you see me tomorrow, you’ll probably see that on my forehead. Check that calendar out for Lent (starts tomorrow!) and see what you think!