Monday, March 05, 2007

Lent: To fast - or not to fast

Yesterday a young man attempted to interogate me concerning fasting customs during Lent. But on that subject I am not exactly a fountain of information. I did not grow up with any traditions either for Lent or fasting.

A few weeks ago when Daughter # 4 started talking about what to give up for Lent, I felt uneasy... I finally decided to give up coffee. Of course, I've given it up so many times already that it hardly counts anymore!

The more I thought about it the more I felt that I wanted to do something more positive. So I made a commitment to do something (everyday) which for me is a sacrifice but which is really a positive (I hope) thing.

A new tradition? For me, perhaps. But apparently I didn't invent this one either:

Lent does not always involve sacrifice, but rather an offering. For some Christians, giving time to tutor, devoting more time to someone, or working for a non-profit organization is more of a sacrifice than sacrificing food, sex, or a common luxury.

- Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Going to Wikipedia for theological substance can be a gamble, but I like this entry. Lent can be difficult to explain. I heard a sermon once about the Lenten rituals changing and renewing our disposition toward God. We could give up everything or commit to many things during the season, but if those things don't turn us toward God, then the action or sacrifice operate in vanity. Though I give up something during Lent, I also try to do something more, to be more reflective and mindful of the reasons we insert a ritual in this time of the church calendar. Thanks for all the good posts recently.
--Jacob W.

Laurie Elliot said...

Yes, I was actually looking for the candles when I found that bit about offerings.

And you are so very right about the whole exercise!

BTW, as far as Lent goes, your leadership in the Bible study seems to have made a lasting impression on my daughter!