Is It Too Late For Lent?

I tried to fast with my church for Lent this year.  It lasted a day.

I tried to refrain from saying anything negative to Jeff.  That lasted three days.

Then I just gave up.

Maybe it’s because I have no discipline.  Maybe it’s because I’m feeling a little stubborn with God these days, and I just don’t feel like spending forty days focused on what a wretched sinner I am.  Or maybe it’s because my daddy died in November.  I’m already in mourning.  Do I really need to do anything extra to remember how broken the world is?

Whatever the reason, I’ve felt increasingly anxious about not observing Lent.  I know from previous years, that I need Lent to appreciate Easter.  So I put aside the feeling that only losers start Lent on Palm Sunday, prayed for guidance, and made a plan.

Until Easter, I am giving up a list of foods that I often substitute for God.  And each night Jeff, the kids, and I will tell the story of Easter from a Godly Play story, The Faces of Easter.  It’s intended for Lent, but with seven cards, it works well for Holy Week.  Finally, we’ll invite friends for a seder on Friday night.

Christians who hold seders on Good Friday often chirp, “Jesus was Jewish, you know!”

So was my daddy. When I dip the celery in salt water, I wont’ have to remember the salty tears of my ancestors; I’ll be crying them.  For my daddy.  For the world.  And for the God who died for me.  Which is probably all the Lent I can handle this year.

  • Atta

    This made me cry. And I’ll probably cry with you at the seder on Friday. xo

  • Kristi

    Love this post Tara. Whenever I get in a funk and then start beating myself up for it, I try to remember that I am NOT Jesus or God. I am a human. Broken. Sinner. And then I take a step back, breathe, and start over. Holy Week is a perfect time to start, in my human opinion. :)

    • Tara Edelschick

      Yes, the answer to all my problems seems to start with remembering that I am not God!

  • kari

    I know this link is long, but my church has recently had a lot of discussions on lent, and although this post is in NO way related to my church it does sum up a lot of their points. Thought you might enjoy hearing why maybe skipping Lent isn’t such a horrible thing…
    Have a great afternoon,

    • Tara Edelschick

      Hi Kari, Thanks for the link. As someone who observes both the Sabbath and Lent (and Advent too, for that matter), I don’t fully get what the writer feels so strongly about. Sure, legalism about extra-Biblical traditions is not a good thing. But I dont’ know a lot of Protestants who feel obliged to observe Lent. It’s simply a wonderful spiritual discipline to help them more fully appreciate the resurrection. I know that for me, when I miss it, I feel less connected to the wonderful thing that happened in Calvary. What about you? Do you observe some form of Lent?