Today is Ash Wednesday. Growing up in a faith tradition that did not really follow and celebrate the seasons in the Christian calendar–specifically Advent and Lent–I want to incorporate those now in our life and family and home.
Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, gets most of the world’s attention through it’s festivals leading up to this day–you may have heard of Mardi Gras? Folks donning their purple, green and gold throwing beads and going wild before the solemnity of Ash Wednesday. Many will “eat up” on Fat Tuesday in preparation for their season of fasting as they prepare for the Lenten season.
The origin of the word Lent means spring. The 40 days preceding Easter are set aside as a time of re-dedication, soul searching, reflection, re-birth and repentance. Just what I think of when I think of little sprigs of grass trying to shoot up from the ground. It’s also a season of hope. Although we haven’t had a rough winter at all, many times, Lent will begin in the midst of a snow-storm and we have to hope that that grass will appear. Just as we hope for Christ’s Resurrection.
You may or may not chose to fast during this season. For me, it’s a tiny reminder of what sacrifice means. Whether it’s sweets, TV, Facebook, social media all together, coffee or certain foods, I always come to realize the things that I’ve become far too attached to in this life and how important it is for my own growth to give it up for a season.
I pray that you would set aside a few moments today to remember the day–Ash Wednesday–to contemplate the remembrance of the sacrifice our God has made for us so that we can have the comforts we enjoy on a daily basis.
If you do choose to “give up” something for Lent, I pray that you will be encouraged in your sacrifice. You are not alone. You are loved deeply by our creator.