I’ve been hearing around on Facebook that a lot of my friends (the ones who haven’t defriended me at least) are giving up things for Lent.
I did a little (and I mean–very little–my Pastor will be SO upset with me) research to find out what was the meaning behind Lent and Ash Wednesday. I came from a Southern Baptist background and I honestly don’t remember anything about Ash Wednesday or Lent in my church. Wikipedia, the know-it-all of the Internet, confirmed my memory:
These Christian denominations are among those that mark Ash Wednesday by holding a service of worship or Mass:
- African Methodist Episcopal Church
- African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
- Anglican/Episcopal churches (excepting most Sydney Diocese churches)
- Anglican Church of India (CIPBC)
- Individual Baptist churches may hold a service [not mine]
- Catholic Church (in the Latin Rite); known as Ash Monday in the other Eastern Catholic Churches
- Church of God (Anderson)
- Church of South India
- Church of North India
- Church of the Nazarene
- Some congregations of Community of Christ
- Some Free Churches
- The Liberal Catholic Church
- Lutheran Church
- Moravian Church
- Old Catholic Church
- Reformed churches (Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), etc.)
- United Methodist Church
- Wesleyan Church
Wiki goes on to say that “The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial.”
I thought about that for a while and I have–at least for me–an issues with this (oh, I’m REALLY going to be in trouble at my church now). While I understand the concept of self-denial–I am a parent after all–I’ve learned through my parenting that self-denial often leads to martyrdom. “Oh, poor me, look what I’ve given up.” AND with some things that we try to give up, it quickly becomes a habit and is no longer an opportunity for prayer and penitence.
This may not be true for everyone, in fact, it probably isn’t. I’m an odd bird and was probably dropped on my head a bit too frequently for my own good when I was a child and this is the resulting consequence.
I decided that it is more (for me) a sacrifice and time of prayer to actually write. I know what you are saying, “But that’s not a sacrifice, it’s something you do all the time.” True. And while some of my writing is religious, some of it is funny and some of it is well, another animal altogether.
But where I fall short, is writing EVERY DAY. And, reading the Bible. So, for the next 40 days, I’m going to read a Bible verse and consider it on my blog. So, if I’m doing this correctly, you should see 46 entries for the next 46 days. If you don’t, come over to Facebook and yell at me. My pastors are friends there and I’m sure they’ll have something to say.
This way, every day I will have the opportunity to use the ABC method of writing (apply butt to chair) and learn more a little more about the Bible.
I’m not going to give myself a word count, but rather fall back on the instructions of my professors in grad school where my comments needed to be “substantive in nature.”