For the first time ever, I’m observing Lent.
I don’t remember why I haven’t done so in recent years. If you had asked me as a teenager why I didn’t observe it, I might have responded by saying that Lent was a Catholic thing, and at that time, I didn’t think Catholics were actual Christians. They were the “religion” to my Protestant “relationship.” (Yes, that awful dichotomy was once held by yours truly.)
As I’ve grown up and my views toward Catholics have changed considerably, I’ve had an interest each year in participating in Lent but always forgot when it started. By the time I remembered, it was already too late to join.
Not so this year.
I’ll be ditching X, but of course, the point of all of this isn’t to give something up. After all, we could give up caffeine or chocolate or meat or whatever at any point in the year. We don’t need the church to put ashes on our heads before we can do that.
We do it now, though, in the shadow of the Resurrection (something that we’d also do well to observe throughout the year). In Jesus, we see the overthrow of death. We see hints of a new creation. We catch a glimpse of what heaven is going to be like and, in so doing, find that we ourselves become more heavenly in the process.
So if you want, feel free to drop your suggestions on how best to do Lent. What are you giving up this year? Any helpful tips for us newbies?