First, a confession: I considered posting a photo here of a little person eating a donut hole here. This is to say, posting a visual of “a (so-called) ‘midget’ eating a munchkin®”…because I thought it would funny, a little funny…Yes, in two ways. But, I changed my mind. It just seemed like a bad choice. Some vertically challenged folks mightn’t feel respected. Also, I couldn’t find a good photo.
Today, March 8th, is my son’s birthday. Today is also Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday). It seemed fitting to send some donut treats for a birthday snack to share with his classmates.
Where I live, Fat Tuesday is celebrated as Fastnacht Day (pronounced: FOSSt-Not) or Donut Day. Potato dough is fried and served with dark corn syrup. After 3 Fastnacht donuts, and you might need assistance to stand or move. Plus, the local Dunkin Donuts shop makes 1,900 dozen donuts on 24 hour shifts just be ready. Don’t mess with donut lovers!
Will you eat a donut today?
The fact is most of us love the indulgence of Fat Tuesday (and other times of feasting), but pay too little attention to the times of simplicity, in the following season. I usually do.
In this particular case, a reflective time is set aside in the Christian calendar following the feasting period. Yes, it’s called the season of Lent. This year, Lent starts Wednesday, March 9th, and ends in the celebration and remembrance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (a.k.a Easter Sunday). This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 24. (To find out the strange way they determine this date each year, go here.)
Why bother concerning yourself with Lenten season?
To show you are devoted to God? Nope. (God already knows your heart.) To please God with sacrifice? Hopefully not, because a pure heart and obedience is better than sacrifice. It’s not about proving something or doing something for God. Instead, a season of Lent can work well to prepare our hearts for God’s work. It can open our eyes to the greater Reality, as well as draw greater significance (for our understanding) in the sacrifice in Jesus Christ’s life of obedience and death for our benefit. This season, can also help us identify with and have compassion for the poor, and the those millions upon millions of humans suffering in our world, which often does not enter our thoughts nearly enough.
This lenten season can be a time of gratitude, and questioning our priorities and cravings. So, what would happen if you observed the season of Lent in a new way, in some manner, this year? I think you could be pleasantly surprised.
Need an idea?
One thing you can do differently is simply drop by here and pause to read a lenten reflection. Once a week, or more, I will post some Lenten Season reflections to make better use of the season, spiritually speaking. I hope it brings an unexpected blessing to you. So, check back soon, or or sign up for post updates to be notified when a reflection post goes live.
But, first things first–go get a donut!