Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Observing Lent

So Lent season is in full swing. I didn't really used to celebrate Lent at all since most of my Christian experience was in non-denominational, charismatic, evangelical churches that really never emphasized such seasons. For most of my Christian journey I saw Lent as just something that those real traditional types of Christians got into, something that was just a dead religious ritual. It is true that celebrating Lent seems rather interesting in this part of the country where the Lenten season is preceded by weeks of parades and partying and festivals culminating in Fat Tuesday. For many down here carnival season and lent are an engrained part of culture that seems to have a life of its own apart from spirituality. Just this morning I heard an advertisement on the radio from a local restaurant advertising overstuffed, fried seafood poboy sandwiches for the Lent season. It made me laugh because for many people down here Lent is an excuse to eat lots of fried seafood under the name of sacrifice. That's the kind of sacrifice I can get into.

However, in spite of all the silliness that can accompany Lent, I have found the Lent season to be a special time in connecting with God, others and my own heart. For me Lent is a time about getting more intentional about connecting with God and others in my journey. Sure, I usually give up something, or a few things during Lent but most of all I just try to make more space in my life for the things that matter.

I read a great piece on giving things up for Lent over at the Jesus Creed Blog that I would suggest folks take a look at Lenten Challenge The piece ended with this:

I don’t want to knock those who give stuff up. Not at all. Go for it. More power to you.
Or in other words, I wonder if God might have these words for me (and for you if I may be so audacious):

“Umm, I didn’t ask you to give up coffee. I asked you to give up your life to me.

Do you observe Lent?
If, so how?
What is the most meaningful aspect of the Lent season concerning your faith?

One more thing, there is a great piece that John Acuff wrote last year about fasting from technology called DIGITAL FASTS Go check it out.


greenturtle said...

I can't say I've ever fully celebrated Lent.

When I was a catholic, I did observe the "fish only on fridays" practice, but I certainly never considered that a sacrifice.

Are you KIDDING me? Nothing but fish and shellfish? I could do THAT for the rest of my life and be happy as a clam!

Unfortunately, good seafood is hard to come by in Midland.

Last spring, the local grocery store sold boiled crawfish every saturday-- REAL boiled crawfish, not the freezer burned stuff you see on the chinese buffet.

But to get back on topic, no, I don't observe Lent, but I'm always up for going out for seafood on friday. Or any day.

Crispin Schroeder said...

I worked at a supposedly New Orleans style seafood place in Midland just after high school. It was called Bourbon Street. I thought it was pretty authentic until I moved to Louisiana and tasted the real thing. I have a rule that I never order seafood when I am that far from the ocean. On the flipside I don't order much barbeque or Mexican food in Louisiana either.

greenturtle said...

Very true! You can't throw a broken iphone here and not hit a good mexican restaurant. And I always thought Cuco's was "good."

I don't think Bourbon Street is still here, but now there's Clear Springs cafe. It's pretty good, albeit frozen. The etouffee, however is NOT etouffee; it's creole.

Unless Bourbon Street is now called Wall Street bar and grill, which supposedly serves new orleans style food but haven't gone there yet. Although there's no reason why I can't.

I probably live in a much different Midland than you did. I live in the north part of town which has mostly new development, a few blocks from Midland College.