Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Do Presbyterians Have to Observe Lent?

It's been a fascinating exercise the last few days to read what my clergy colleagues are writing on their Facebook walls and blogs about Ash Wednesday and Lent. Admittedly 'Facebook Advice" always sets my teeth on edge a bit anyway and my colleagues are legendary for it. Ash Wednesday/Lent has not been a part of most of our entire lives unlike Advent, Christmas and Easter so there's a sense that everyone's still kind of trying it on for size.


This year I've seen suggestions to take on weekly fasting, another idea to give up feeling guilty and another one that suggests you put one item of clothing you don't wear any more into a garbage bag and at the end of the 40 days donate it. 


There's nothing wrong with giving something up for Lent, or adding something in, or giving away things... but when we are doing these things, where are our hearts? When we're about to take a sip of the forbidden soda do we catch ourselves by saying, "Oh, I gave up soda for Lent!" or are we saying, "I want to get closer to God."


Why would giving up soda get us closer to God?

Exactly.


I don't have the answer here. I always feel like I could be doing Lent better and I think remaining in communication with God is hard any time of the year. I am always on the look out for things that can help with that. Fortunately, during Lent there are additional resources out there.


Whether you mark Lent diligently every day, just consider it a countdown to Easter and spring or anywhere in between - blessings on your Lenten journey.

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