What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

26 February 2012

'Tis the Season

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. What does that mean? I'm not sure.

Just because I'm not Catholic doesn't
mean I can't appreciate a good
set of prayer candles. Source.
You see, I'm a Protestant. I'm what you might call a 'cafeteria Protestant', since I pick and choose my practises from the buffet line of Christianity. (I wish I could claim that phrase as my own, but alas, I learned it from the internets many years ago.) Lent is something that I first put on my plate about 20 years ago, and every year I keep coming back round for another helping. However, I've always attended the sort of Protestant church that keeps no high church traditions, so I've been doing this on my own for a long time (although in the past few years, I've been a contact point for some of my Protestant friends who have ventured over for a peek at the Catholic menu and said, "I'll have some of that, too.").

But, not this year. I asked some of our friends at our new church (which is called Red River Church, by the way; I don't know if I've linked to it before) a couple of months ago if we do Lent at church, and they said, "Kinda. We don't really do it ourselves, though." (They weren't really speaking in unison, for all that they are newlyweds.) So I've no idea what to expect today. We might have a regular service, which would be just fine. We might do something different because it's Lent, which would be new and exciting for me. We might have a regular service with a reminder that it's the first Sunday of Lent, which would also be cool. 

Whatever it is, I'm paying attention. I do my best, as I hope that all Christians do, to be attentive to what the Lord might be trying to teach me at all seasons, but there's something different about this season. I'm more intentional in my walk. I'm more aware of my own stumbles and missteps. It's during this time, year after year, that I realise just how many times a day I think about dumb stuff that doesn't matter. For example, the year I gave up TV for Lent, I thought I wasn't making that big of a sacrifice. I don't watch that much TV, anyway; surely I was being too easy on myself! Ha. That's the year I found out just how easily distracted I am, and just how many times a day I think about TV. It never fails, no matter what my chosen 'sacrifice' is.

I think that time could be better spent. That energy could be used in so many other directions. And that's what makes me especially grateful for Lent.

Do you practise Lent? Are you doing something special today? 


Alisha De Freitas said...

Happy Lent! Hmmm... that doesn't sound right. But you know what I mean. Yes, I'm observing Lent. I'm not Catholic, but as of last year, Anglican. I should note though, I started participating in Lent a year before after spending years wanting to. It's actually very beautiful to give, sacrifice, pray and fast. And humbling, too. I wrote a little bit about it today: http://far-above-rubies-and-pearls.blogspot.com/2012/02/ashes-dust-green-bags.html

erica and christy said...

I'm Lutheran and teach Sunday School at our local church. Today I had a group of 4th graders that watched an animated movie of the death and resurrection of Jesus with me today. They offered (almost) their entire attention and asked wonderful questions. I felt inspired just being with them on their journey toward understanding their faith (if that makes sense). (and yes, I had to look one question up)

Su said...

@Alisha: Blessed Lent to you! :) And thanks for sharing your link... it was great to read!

@Erica: Hey, if you taught 4th grade Sunday school and only had to look up one question, you're doing very well indeed.

KarenG said...

Hi! I'm visiting from the A to Z Challenge, getting a head start on finding great new blogs to follow. Nice to meet you! Lent was a big deal when I was a kid. I always tried to give up candy for Lent and would make it 2 maybe 3 days before going back to the sugar :)


Su said...

So far, moderately good, for BOTH my Lenten resolutions. I've remembered to keep both since... Friday.

RJR said...

Hello I too am getting a head start on the A-Z challenge. For me Christianity is about what you do for 365 days a year not just for 40. If you need to give something up to focus on God then give it up completely ?


Su said...

I don't wait until Lent to address actual distractions, so I wouldn't say I *need* it. But that's not going to stop me from taking advantage of this season, when so many in Christiandom are joining in. It's a nice way to build community, I think.

Karen Peterson said...

I don't practice Lent in my church. As I told someone the other day, I'm a Mormon and we already give up a lot of stuff.

I do like the idea, though.

Su said...

'Tis true!