Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Catholic church tradition. Many of us have at some point, do now, or know of others who give up something for the Lenten season. I can remember growing up thinking about what I would want to give up and being so thankful that I wasn't Catholic because I like eating chocolate and drinking sodas (this seemed to be what most of my friends would choose).
Today, as I sat down to pray, I realized that it is Ash Wed. What is this day all about? Why have people celebrated this season for thousands of years? Should I consider giving something up? Well, upon reflection and research it appears that the Lenten season is a time to reflect on our sinfulness (our brokenness) and prepare ourselves for Christ's resurrection on Easter. It is a time to call all people back to God and help us to recognize our need for Jesus and the hope that he provides.
On Sunday, Jeff talked about forgiveness and our inability, yet need, to understand how much we have been forgiven already. If you are interested in listening click here (its the one from Feb. 22)... it may not be up yet. Its hard for us to come to terms with how broken we are. But, I agree that wrestling with that brings us to a point of greater appreciation for what Christ has done for us and the hope that we have to live a new life NOW!
All of that to say, I think I am going to give something up this year. Its going to be a hard one. I sat here for about 20 minutes considering if it would even be possible to do. I don't like to fail, but Christ is here in my successes and failures. I am going to give up alcohol for Lent. Wow! Okay, now it is out there. You all know how much enjoy wine... I realize that I may enjoy it just a little too much and giving it up will probably help me get in touch with my brokenness in a new way. Here I go...
*SIDE NOTE* Please don't ask me if I'm pregnant when I don't drink for 40 days, I will be offended :)
I want to know, do you think this is a good idea? Is it worth it? Would you give something up? Why/why not?