Tuesday, February 28, 2006

dust to dust

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, and thus begins Lent. This was always a big deal back in my Lutheran days. (I'd like to give a shout out to Pastor Schelter at OSL, what what!) We would go to the Ash Wendesday church service, the pastor would put ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, and thus would begin our 40 days of sacrificing something until Easter.

Generally, I fasted coke, because I love it so freaking much. Usually, I would forget, and have one anyway, or I would just fail towards the end. I think there might have been a couple of times when I followed through, but nothing clear comes to mind.

I remember in high school, this friend of mine, Carissa Conley, told me she was fasting 30 minutes of her time that she might be doing something else and instead she would spend time with the Lord. Now this was a new concept entirely for me. I guess up until that point, Lent and my coke abstinence had been a religious act of obedience rather than a spiritual experience for me. Self deprivation rather than self melioration. You mean I might actually engage in something that might bring me closer to God instead of a caffeine headache? Interesting.

Since I've started going to a non-denominational church, we haven't really talked much about Lent. Now, anyone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that the actual 40 day period of Lent is biblical. I think it stems from the idea of a 40 day fast, liken to the one Jesus did (Matt 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).

*Incidentally, after looking these up here, where you can find LOTS of translations of the bible, I noticed that 40 days seems to be a common length of time for various things, including, but not limited to: flooding, fasting, lying prostrate, walking around on the earth after being resurrected, etc...

Anyway, I didn't even realize that Lent was just around the corner until my friend Kris was talking yesterday about what he was going to give up. He goes to Bethany Community Church in Seattle, and his pastor keeps a blog (which is awesome!) and I read this entry and got to thinking even more about the meaning and the importance of Lent.

This paragraph stuck out to me the most:

It's something to think about, for sure. I'll have to think today about how I want to sacrifice during this time. But whatever I decide, I'm definitely also giving up coke, because other than the delicious and unbeatable taste, it's not good for me at all. *fin*


Daniel said...

Interesting. I never really new what ash Wednesday was for and what you do. Harbor is the only church I ever remember learning anything at. We should talk about it at youth tomorrow.

Jerome said...

you are a genius..."melioration?" great post by the way.

becki said...

thanks, Berwald! You're really smart, so that means a lot coming from you! :)

Daniel said...

Just in case you did not notice, I answered your comment on my blog. Here it is:

"Go into your blog's settings then go to the formatting tab, then you will see a drop down menu to change your timezone."