The alignment of Lent this year is from Valentines Day (Ash Wednesday) to April Fools (Easter). So one Lenten Devotional is called “Lovers and Fools.” This is no concession to Hallmark holidays. To be sure, we worship a God of love, and we faithful are wiling to be fools for Christ. Take it from Paul: “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong...” (I Corinthians 1:18, 27).
Some of us will celebrate Lent with a particular practice—giving up chocolate, adding prayers, a weekly visit to someone who needs company, coloring a weekly mandala. (I’ve tried all these. And there was the year I gave up being mean to my husband, which he still names as one of my best Lenten practices).
The Christian calendar developed a period of observance before Easter because Easter used to be the day of baptism and joining the community. Those who aspired would take 40 days to study, pray and prepare. Eventually other practices got put on this period too: abstaining from meat, contemplating mortality, atoning for sins.
No matter how you do it, a practice of some sort can bring our Sunday faith to a Monday through Saturday awareness. Of course, the idea isn’t so much to have Lenten bragging rights with your friends, as to have more intimacy with the Divine.
By now you may already have chosen a practice. Good for you.
Or, Lent may have crept up on you. Don’t worry, its never to late to start some Lenten practice. Something small, daily and that you can fit well into your life is the best choice. Carter and I would be happy to share a few ideas with you—just give us a shout.
Blessings all you lovers and fools!