Lent is coming. I am puzzled as to why so many Protestant denominations skip over Lent or give it only a cursory treatment through some color changes, flowers and maybe a reminder to prepare for Easter. The monastic and Catholic tradition seems more fitting, giving us time to move from winter to spring, death to life, sacrifice to celebration. Otherwise, it happens so quickly -- 3 days and we are done. Given the importance of Easter to our faith, why do we shortchange the preparation? My suspicion is that we have lost the patience and discipline (or the desire to cultivate either).
The typical preparations for Lent today include prayer, denying oneself something: food, festivities, things and performing acts of penance or charity--all good ideas anytime of the year, we suspect.
Mike and I consciously are working out how to make Lent real for the girls--we've introduced the concept, which they seem to have grasped pretty quickly, particularly the giving up. However, the spirit of the idea might be a little challenging. MeiLin declared that she thought she would give up buying stuff for herself, instead buying stuff for her sister.
For me, I've decided this year I need to focus on others at a practical level. As a result, I'm resolved to not only resist buying unnecessary items (do I really need that pair of jeans on sale or new lipstick?) while also recycling/passing on one item every day that I simply don't use or don't need. I want to find a home for these items. I'll let you know how it goes.
Begin here with me, God.