|The kids decorated our cake with|
waaaay to much sugar!
During my first Lenten season as a married woman, I made the mistake of cooking meat on a Friday night. My Episcopalian bred husband was mortified and ate a PB&J. (Give me a break - I grew up Southern Baptist. We take Paul's "kill & eat" sheet vision very literally.) It's funny how differently people can celebrate the same holidays and holy days. After seeing Fat Tuesday recipes on the Today show and forgetting that it was "Shrove Tuesday" - the one night the hubs would love pancakes for dinner - the kids and I cooked skillet Jambalaya and made a homemade Kings' cake. The purported purpose of the Kings' cake is to remind people of the Magi's trip to find Jesus as a child, but today most people just look for the baby in the cake for good luck or to see who picks up the tab. (We mostly made it because it looked yummy.)
Likewise many religious traditions can lose their meaning. People can "give things up" for Lent as a cultural habit more than a reminder to pray and come closer to Christ. Since my denomination has no "Lenten requirements" I have some freedom to think about how I desire to spend the season. So many of us overlook it or rush through it, even those of us who follow some prescribed ritual.
Currently I am in a Bible Study on Ephesians in which we look at only a verse or two a day. It runs contrary to my normal study of the Bible in which I devour large sections and look at the "Big Picture." Stopping after a verse or two sometimes feels awkward. But concentrating on one or two verses a day allows you to really stew on the verses if you allow your mind the time throughout the day. Today's verses were Eph. 3:17-18, part of Paul's prayer for the Ephesians.
The end of verse 18 is "that you, being rooted and grounded in love." Throughout the day I have contemplated whether or not my actions and words were rooted and grounded in love. Many of them weren't. So instead of giving up chocolate for Lent I am going to spend the season examining my thoughts and actions to see if they grow from love, watering the roots in my heart through communing with the Father, and fertilizing my faith through the reading of the Word. Join me on my journey!