Lent: I am not a groupie!

January 23, 2008

I realized with horror today that Ash Wednesday on 6 Feb, which also happens to be Chinese New Year Eve! And seeing how I actually observe Lent fairly strictly (by Protestant standards, which is not very strict at all), CNY is going to be real test of willpower. I suppose that this year is as good a year as any to be clashing with CNY since we won’t really be celebrating anyway. Thank God for small mercies?

Curiously, every year, I still find it hard to explain why I observe Lent. Protestants generally aren’t very good with their church calender and frankly, most don’t even know what Lent is.  In case you didn’t, it is a period of sober reflection, self-examination and spiritual redirection for 40 days (not including Sundays) to prepare for Easter Sunday. I guess I’m a big advocate for the spiritual disciplines and they have consistently been a means of grace for me.  It is probably too self-indulgent to expound on here, suffice it to say that a period of fasting seems to be highly correlated with profound spiritual insight.

(The random “I am not a groupie” exclamation in the header is a reference to an article I read earlier about how “some people only celebrate the happy times in Jesus’ life: Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas. But I think as true friends, we should also watch and pray with Him on Maundy Thursday, stand by Him at the cross on Good Friday, and retreat with Him into the wilderness during Lent.”)

And I’m still praying about what to fast from.  If I want to one-up last year, I pretty much have to go vegetarian.

So help me God!


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