Happy Mardi Gras! Get all fatty today and celebrate. I'm not celebrating just because it's Fat Tuesday, but I'm celebrating because I am looking forward to the next 40 days that we call Lent and the coming celebration of Christ's death and resurrection.
What is Lent? Many people who celebrate it or use it to "give something up," don't really even know why, and many people who don't celebrate it think it's a silly ritual. When I was very young, I thought it was just about giving up something you like to earn brownie points with God. As I was going through catechism, my pastor explained that it was about using these 40 days to reflect on what Christ has done for us, laying his life down for our sins so that we can know God eternally.
Many people add in special times of reading, reflection, and prayer leading up to Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. How much more then should we celebrate in the time leading up to Resurrection Day, when Jesus said, "Finished!" When the blood of Christ was accepted as a substitutionary sacrifice, a propitiation, for all our sins for all time. Hallelujah, He is risen!
As we reflect on the things above and prepare our hearts for Easter, the resurrection day, sometimes we give up things up that might distract us. Sometimes we give up things we love because so we can be reminded to depend on God as our greatest source of joy on this Earth. Some people don't give anything up per say, but add in more time reading their Bibles or praying.
A few days ago, I felt that maybe I was supposed to give up Facebook for Lent. No, God, you surely wouldn't want me to do that, right? The more I think about it, the more certain I feel that I am supposed to, no matter how tough it will be. I don't even know if I have the self-discipline to do it, but I will depend on God for that too.
Some people might think I'm ridiculous. It might be true, but I know I spend way more time on there than any person should. I really do want this season of Lent to be about more than ritual. I want to focus on the meaning behind the ritual and I desperately want to draw near to the Lord in prayer and his word.
I'll still be blogging and tweeting. I haven't gone that crazy, haha. I hope that you, too, will find time in the next 6 weeks to focus your heart on God's finished work.
How are you celebrating Lent? How can I pray for you?