Monday, February 23, 2009
Yesterday's sermon at church was about Lent. Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, is not observed by all Christian denominations. In fact our pastor said he wanted to title the sermon "Lent Not Lint" because it's not part of every Christian's tradition. Most people are familiar with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) which is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The most famous celebration of Mardi Gras in the U.S. is in New Orleans. In other parts of the world, Mardi Gras is celebrated as Carnivale, which literally means "goodbye meat." Christians traditionally use the season of Lent to make some type of sacrifice to identify in a very small way with Christ's sacrifice. While I have participated in church services on Ash Wednesday, I've never observed the season with a personal sacrifice. As our pastor spoke, I thought about what type of sacrifice would be difficult for me. I wanted one that would not only be difficult but could also be enlightening. Then I knew - give up the news. No local news, no Headline News, no Wolf Blitzer....no news?! I'll have information withdrawal! But then, maybe, it will be a blessing. I won't find myself getting angry; I'll have more time for productive endeavors; I can use the time to reflect, to dwell on positivite things. I'll use it as a reminder of what Paul said in Philippians: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about these things." So, my sacrifice might not be a sacrifice after all.