I grew up in a town with 4 options for a church of my religion. The Spanish speaking one, the ultra conservative one, the ultra, ultra conservative one and the last one, sort of a middle of the road, medium sized church. We went to the latter. We never spoke of lent in my church. I knew about it because the rest of the churches in my town were Catholic. However, lent was never brought up. I never had to choose what to give up, I never had to make the sacrifice.
A few years ago it became “all the rage” to give something up for lent. I felt like all the cool Christians were doing it. I felt like they were doing it to be cool, to make a statement, to rub their Godliness in others faces. I know that I was probably wrong in that, now that I am so much older and wiser. Insert sarcasm here.
Yesterday was Fat Tuesday and while we were making our dinner I mentioned that we should give something up for lent. It had been on my mind for a few weeks and since yesterday would have been the day to decide if we would participate, I mentioned it.
Josh immediately said, “You should give up Freebirds and Papa Murphys!” I almost died on the spot. He had me pegged. Because we had never participated in lent before, we discussed with the children the basic idea. We should sacrifice something small to say thank you to Jesus and God for giving up something SO very BIG. Emily immediately replied with, “Wow, Mom, use God against me.” We all had a good laugh at that one.
So after we sat for dinner we discussed several options for the kiddos to choose from. Some of the options were candy, computer time, Wii time, texting, brownies, soda and homework. It was decided after much debate that the kids would give up soda and Josh and I would give up Freebirds and Papa Murphys. It was an interesting time of conversation in our house around the dinner table, one that I enjoyed and am glad I have to reflect on.
So this year, we are participating in lent. Because we should be able to give up something that we enjoy for 40 days. The Lord gave up so much more than that for us.