Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reflecting on...reflection

With Valentine’s Day now behind us, the stores will begin stocking shelves with shamrocks followed by lots of pastel colors. And soon, people will start picking out their Easter dresses (well, after they pick out their Spring Break swimsuits).

I generally start thinking about Easter a week prior when I walk into church and see a bunch of palm branches. But there is one part of the Easter season that I’ve always overlooked. The season of Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. Having gone most of my life to a non-denominational church, I heard plenty of references to Lent, but there was no specific tradition around it. I just remember half my friends got to come late to school Ash Wednesday and showed up with a cross of ashes on their head (small price to pay, I thought, for getting out of school). And McDonald’s advertises their fish sandwiches a lot.

This year, my church will offer weekly Lent services for the first time ever, so it’s actually got me thinking about this observance. While year-round repentance is the norm for me, I suppose there is something to be said about having this focused time of reflection on what Christ did for me.

And then there is the part about giving up one of my vices. I gave up TV for a week in junior high to prepare for a church missions trip. I did ok with that. Last year I heard of several people who gave up Facebook for Lent. (I know a few people who should give up Facebook for Lent!) I guess we shouldn’t have to wait until Lent to give up the things that aren’t good for us. But then I find myself making excuses for my vices too; all in the name of moderation.

So, I don’t know if I’ll do anything special to commemorate Lent this year. Maybe I’ll catch a couple of the church services. But I’m curious, have you ever given up something for Lent? As a result, did you feel renewed or closer to God during that time? Have I been missing out by not commemorating Lent all these years?


  1. I found your blog through Kristin Billerbeck.

    I just started a job in a church office, and they seem to do lots for Lent. They are also starting a weekly service and it has really made me think. For me personally, I have never really done anything to commemorate Lent. In the staff meeting the Pastor asked us to not give something up but to take something on. So I am still thinking about what I should do but I think it actually will bring me closer to God. At least hopefully. :)

  2. Great to hear from you Katey! I LOVE your pastor's recommendation to not give something up but to take something on. Wow, that is awesome advice. And knowing how much I love my little comfort zone, taking on something new may be just the thing I need to increase my trust in and dependence on God. Thanks!!

  3. That was actually what I thought also. I don't really want to give up something since I never have in the past. I think taking something on will work. I get a daily devotional in my email every day and I was thinking that I would concentrate on it more and write down in a journal about what it says. I think it will be a good 40 days of thinking. I like how you said you need to increase your trust and dependence on God. So true. Lots of people do, me included. :)