It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Many of my co-workers went to church today and had ashes imposed on their foreheads.   They are giving up something for Lent and are not eating meat on Friday.  I have to provide breakfast for a meeting on Friday, so I consulted with one of the ladies to make sure that I provide a proper Lenten breakfast.  I didn't go to church and I doubt if I will give up anything this year.

You see, I did not grow up in a denomination that participated in Ash Wednesday or Lent.  As a child I heard others talk about "giving up something for Lent" but really didn't know what it was all about.  I had attended the "old" Methodist Church (prior to the merger when we became "United") for a while as a child and I'm sure that Lent was not observed.  When I returned to the Methodist Church I was surprised about a lot of things, and the observance of Lent was one of them.  (Just for the record, for several years after I did give up something during the 6 weeks of Lent, and it was hard!).

I think the concept behind fasting and giving up sweets or something that you enjoy is excellent.  We are in a time of preparing ourselves for Holy Week and for receiving the gift of Easter and it is very appropriate for personal denial and sacrifices at this time.   But I had to wonder today, did my co-workers really understand what Ash Wednesday is all about?  I know this is the only day of the year that some of them go to church, so I had to wonder if their giving up something really has meaning.  I hope so.

On a final note, one of the devotional books that I read had an interesting article today.  The author suggested that instead of giving up something we should resolve to do something good each day.  She  gave an example of calling a friend or sending them a card.  I think this is an excellent idea for this season of Lent.  Let's share God's love by serving him!

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