Let me start off by answering a foundational question. What is lent? Lent is a traditional forty day period observed prior to the Christian holiday of Easter. Most older Christian denominations and the Catholic church observe a strict lent. Some people fast at lent, some people commit to extra volunteer work, some people give up Facebook or alcohol. So the question remains, since my church does not require I participate, why am I doing lent?
I have done lent off and on for the past 8 or 9 years, and I will continue to do it because in my opinion Easter is the most under valued and under celebrated holiday in the Christian Church. I do agree that Christmas is important, without Jesus’ birth we don’t have a savior, and there are definitely noteworthy miracles in the Christmas Story. But Easter is so much more important, without Jesus’ sacrifice we most definitely do not have a savior. How essential is His sacrifice?
I’m not going to drastically alter my life for lent, but I want to do something that reflects the intentions. It can’t be something that is too easy; for me giving up alcohol would be too easy, I drink a glass of wine maybe once every 3 weeks. Facebook would be too easy, I am rarely on there. Now, it can’t be too hard either, I can’t easily volunteer (transportation issues) and it wouldn’t be smart for me to fast. This year I am going to give up caffeine. I like it and it is involved in my daily life enough that it’s a sacrifice, but it won’t drastically alter my ability to function in society. And you know what? It might even be good for my body to have a caffeine break.
I’m also hoping to host some sort of Easter dinner. When I have done this in the past and I make our guests read the Easter Story, but I like to make it kinda fun. I did it once with Martha Stewart’s Easter Eggs with bible verses inside each egg. I loved it, and I think my guests did too. Getting to crack your egg to get to the verses and picking it was like a lottery. “Will I get 1 verse, or 10, or 55?!” I really enjoyed it. I will do it again this year if I get time. Last year I ran out of time, so I threw a bunch of mini eggs in jars and wrote verses under the cap. Same concept – but a lot faster to prep.
Are you doing lent? If you are what are you giving up? Does your family have any other Easter Traditions?