February 11, 2009
That was a great post! Well, for me it was one great post, because it reminded me of the right meaning of lent. <br><br>"We are called to give up those things that tempt us to rely on them and not on Christ. We are called to set aside those behaviors that move us into sin (whether that be idolatry or sloth or pride or lust orâ€¦), and replace them with behaviors that move us closer to Christ."<br><br>Thank you, Mary, for this post. :D
I'm not clear that much of what anyone gives up for Lent amount to the things keeping any of us from God. Personally, I have always pledged to give up broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus for Lent. As a mandatory ritual, Lent was spiritually meaningless. As a ritual engaged in by the entire community, it may have generated some sense of common purpose and accord, and devotion to God. As an individual sacrifice, if it brings an individual closer to God to practice, so be it.
Deeming "Lent" as spritually meaningless calls for a deeper understanding of the purpose. As a ritual I agree it is meaningless. I have never practiced it but ,have considered doing so because it is not about giving up something. It is really about gaining something. It is about surrendering a carnal desire to do or have something and submitting your self to God.
Thank you for your post with regards to the Lenten season. It does appear as if Lent has become, to the world and Christians in general, a season of superficial sacrifice. The shallowness of the world's thoughts on the Lenten season is not illustrated any better than by the celebration of Mardi Gras. I find a G rated version of Mardi Gras to be jolly, and finding the baby Jesus in the King's cake can at least be a tool to share who He is with those who are unaware of His deity. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see mischief, mayhem, and general bawdiness the rule during Mardi Gras.<br>I have never personally observed the Lenten season, but your description of its true roots have inspired me to do so this year. Most people that i personally know have observed Lent in just the manner that you have spoken of, not in the sense of true sacrifice, but just the idea of giving up something that they enjoy. I am thankful for your timely reminder of what the observance of Lent should be for all of us who follow and worship the Holy and Awesome God of the Bible. I have shared it on myspace and facebook, so that others may be as blessed and exhorted as i have been.
I am actively considering giving up my RSS reader for lent. I have an hour or so a day sucked into blogs and the web through my rss reader. That is time I could be studying scripture, praying or spending time with family. I think that is exactly what giving something up for lent is about.
I have never follow the practice of Lent but if I did I don't think I would give up any food, but television. It seems to me if a person were to give up something if should be something that takes up time that could be put to better use.
What is Lent? I have grown up Baptist, Christian Missionary Alliance, and Foursquare and this was never talked about. Is there scripture somewhere about this. Is this a new holiday? Am I missing something. (I am being a little facetious). Here's what Colossians says:<br><br>So donâ€™t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Donâ€™t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.<br><br>You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, â€œDonâ€™t handle! Donâ€™t taste! Donâ€™t touch!â€? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a personâ€™s evil desires.<br><br>So, enlighten me. I am not from an orthodox background.
Until I was 14 we seldom had a TV in the house. That year, I became addicted to several shows a night. When my first report card came in, my grades were low enough that I was banned from TV for the next quarter, except for one Isaac Asimov show my science teacher wanted us to watch. I was amazed to rediscover how warm and rewarding it was to sit in the living room with family and NOT be immersed in TV. I've watched some TV since, but its a minor part of my life, and I'm not even bothering to get the digital converter box. I don't need it.
Lent has been part of the Christian tradition from the very start. Originally (and in some traditions today) lent was the time of preparation for those that were going to be baptized on Easter. The giving up stuff was part of the preparation. It was not giving up some minor thing that you wouldn't miss but actually fasting (something that very few Americans really practice). I am also from a Baptist background that never observed Lent, but find church year a good practice to be reminded of what we are about as Christians.
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