Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Today, for those who may not know, is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent, the season before Easter on the church calendar. I didn't grow up in a tradition that observed Lent or the church calendar. My first encounter with things like liturgy and the church calendar happened in college. Since then I've attended a seminary in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition and have learned even more about what the season of Lent is about. I don't intend it explain it here- I'm sure you can find a good explanation on wikipedia. I will say, unlike the Catholic tradition, I don't see Lent as a time where I need to pay penance for my sins. I know that when I confess my sins and ask for forgiveness, God forgives me for them. There is no need for me to hang my head in defeat and punish myself in order to find some favor with God. I like this article I read today. It explains why Lent is about experiencing more, not about giving something up.

This year for Lent, I have decided to abstain from something that will affect my life and my attitude. It will daily point me back to Christ as I remove one thing from my life in order to replace it with Christ. It's not important what I'm giving up, as God reveals different things to each one of us. The important thing is that I am going to use this time as a refocusing on God and surrender of the perceived control I have on my life. I don't want to simply mildly disrupt my life for 40 days. I want to make lasting changes and celebrate Easter as someone who has been transformed.

I will try to blog parts of this journey and what I am learning. I may also set up a blog schedule and blog something different each day (i.e. Lenten updates on one day, a new recipe on another day, something marriage related on another day, etc.). If you've noticed, I have been cautious to commit myself to anything blog related as I'm sure I have not always followed through. But as I feel God calling me to write as a way of keeping me accountable to my commitments to him, I sense that this whole blog thing will become a part of my daily, or at least weekly, life. As always, we'll see.

If you are observing Lent this year, I'd love to hear what you are learning or what God is doing in your life. Even if you aren't observing Lent, feel free to share things God is teaching you.

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