Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. I grew up in a church that observed no more of the Church calendar than Easter and Christmas, but I was introduced to Lent in college, when I developed a great appreciation for its reminder of Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness and of His suffering. It is a focus on the cross before the Resurrection. I love the cross-shaped smearing of ashes on the forehead, a reminder that I am from the dust, and to the dust I will return. Last night, this reminder became all too real when I found out one of my students, a bright, kind, talented 24 year old, had died in a car crash.
This time we have is short.
In addition, just as a true winter makes spring with all its new life all the more beautiful, 40 days of surrendering something loved can make the celebration of Easter all the more glorious.
This week, I have the great honor to have a post about Lent published at (in)courage, a beautiful blogging site created by Dayspring, the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark Cards.
Here’s a snippet of it:
At the beginning of last December, I embarked on something doomed to fail — a diet. October birthday cakes, Halloween candy, and Thanksgiving pies had caught up with me, and I didn’t want to have to buy new jeans. I did pretty well the first few weeks, but then came the Christmas cookie exchange party I hosted and the annual tradition of making huge amounts of marshmallow chocolate fudge for family, neighbors, and friends (with all the corners and ugly pieces going right to me, of course).
Sugar, you see, is not only tempting and delicious, adding unwanted weight to my thighs, but it’s also tied up in my customs and festivities, adding irreplaceable celebration to the holy-days.
For the rest of this post, click on this link for (in)courage here.
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