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.

About Tara Edelschick

Right now, Tara is on sabbatical in Costa Rica. She is sleeping more, and exercising and flossing every day for the first time in her life. She is enjoying her husband, her boys, and Nafisa (the daughter she never had) more than she ever has. And she is learning to rest in the arms of the one who doesn't rank you based on how many things you can cross off your list at the end of the day. Follow her on Twitter@TaraWonders.

  • 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…
    http://chantrynotes.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/191/
    Have a great afternoon,
    Kari

    • 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?


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