We are now in the Lenten season and let me begin by sharing initially the conclusion of my post first in case you have an attention span of a 2-year-old:
Lent isn’t about you or about what you’re giving up.
But we’ll get to that soon.
For those that might not be familiar with Lent, it is the 40 day period (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday that has traditionally been a time of preparation for those who were preparing for baptism and later expanded to include the larger Christian community. It marks a time of prayer, penance, repentance, humility, self-denial, and soul searching as one draws closer to the Passion of Christ and ultimately, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection. You can check out my sermon (above) to get a crash course on the history of Lent – and how it started (likely) as a 2-3 day event and eventually became a 40 day rhythm by 325 AD at the Council of Nicaea.
But let’s ask the question:
Do you observe Lent?
And if so, are you giving something up for Lent? What and Why?
I appreciate the Lenten season for many and various reasons. In fact, the Lenten season is important to me because it helps me create rhythm in my life – something especially helpful when busyness, chaos, randomness, and lots of noise inundate my life. I love Lenten because it helps me prepare for Passion Week - the final week of Christ. And while we know Easter brings upon us the celebration of the resurrection, I am grateful that the Lenten season more deeply prepares me for Good Friday.
This year, I’m choosing – along with some other things – to give up “coffee” during the Lent season. Trust me, for someone that runs a cafe, has his offices in a cafe, and has access to free Stumptown coffee whenever I want, this will certainly be a “test” of self-denial.
But even after acknowledging that I myself am “giving up” coffee during Lent, I’m ambivalent and reticent about how vogue or easy Read the rest of this entry »