This is a rerun of a post from February 24, 2010 – from an old blog of mine called “just say the word
the typeface didn’t want to cooperate…
I have been reading through some friend’s online pages.
The latest, most popular subject, i see, seems to be lent. It just made me more curious to look into Lent.
I read that the practice is not in the bible, because it started a few centuries later. Lent has changed over the years. The number of days started out as two or three. Early on, Lent was a time of preparation for those about to be baptized at Easter. The more i thought about it, the more the practice started to look like life. Realizing that death is taking something from my body and mind, every moment, and eventually enough is taken that i actually realize something is gone. something i can not do, or something i do not have any longer. i must accept the fact that it is gone. After awhile, when i am older and watching things come and go, i am continually reminded that nothing is actually mine.
I read that in the past, people abstained from foods prepared with fat, or they fasted in a more strict way throughout Lent. Meat is (or at least was) the food of the wealthy, and to give it up was to eat the food of the poor, and so to remember one’s poverty before God. It is a devotional practice of ancient (Jewish) origin, and not really based in Scripture, except for the ideas in Isaiah 22:13, Daniel 10, etc… Abstaining from meat was a sign of penance or sorrow for sin, but eating it a sign of merriment.
The current practices regarding meat in Lent (or any time of year) could change (and they have), because they are not a part of Christian doctrine, but only practices that help us in our faith.
I see some differences between lent and life.
With lent, things and practices are given up. Reading that, “stripping away the tokens of wealth and power for a short time so we can remember who we are. We do this on the day Jesus allowed everything to be taken from him so we could see who he is and be saved.”
In this life, death slowly takes our body and people from us. We lose things that we hold dear. The difference, from lent, being we do not get any of it back in this lifetime. In the process of real life loss, we see who we are and that God already has everything, except one thing from us. What God truly wants, is for us to give Him our whole heart.
In giving God our heart, we give Him our whole self, our soul…everything.