The Lenten season of 2014 is soon to end. From Ash Wednesday until Easter, Christians all around the world take part in a renewing of faith through repentance, penance, prayer, and self-denial. This can be hard for some and much easier for others. Truthfully, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be easy.
Self-denial is taking something we feel we can’t live without and purposefully taking it away. For instance, one may feel that eating steak multiple times a week is normal. They pay roughly $15.00 for each serving while others can barely afford a hamburger for $3.00-4.00. Giving up, or denying oneself, of that steak is a beginning. What would top that off would be taking the money not spent and donate it to a homeless shelter or buying non-perishable food items to donate to a local food bank. In that process, one is sacrificing a want for a need of another. Isn’t that what we are called to do as Christians? The welfare of others should always be very near the top of our cares. Did Christ not give so that we all may have? Nothing we could do as a sacrifice could ever overshadow the major sacrifice made by Christ as his sacrifice made it possible for us to have life.
My choice of self-denial this Lenten season is something I will keep to myself. It, however, has been wonderful in many ways. By denying myself of that one thing, I have learned that many other things in my life are more important. I believe I have achieved what I needed.
During this season, I have also been reading books in the process of learning more about the Episcopal Church. I recently finished reading Welcome to the Episcopal Church by Christopher Webber. It was very informative about the history of the American Episcopal Church, its believe structure, the sacraments, and its organization. When I finished reading, I really felt I was much more a part of the Episcopal Church family. I am in the process of reading Unabashedly Episcopalian by Andrew Doyle. The writer speaks more from the eyes of a bishop and I am enjoying it immensely.
Another great event taking place during this season is confirmation class. Our wonderful priest, the seminarian, and the verger have all taken part in teaching us things about the Episcopal Church, the Book of Common Prayer, the baptismal covenant, and other things we need to be aware of before Confirmation Mass on May 11th. I’m really excited. Since I made a public profession of faith on August 3, 1994 (at the age of 16) and I was baptized on August 14, 1994, I don’t go through that process again. One baptism is all that is needed. I will be received into the church.
Within the next two weeks, we will be observing Holy Week which leads up to Easter Sunday. Little girls will be dressed up in their Sunday dresses and hats and little boys will begrudgingly get dressed in suits as they gather into the church on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a very moving Eucharist and one that I await. Maundy Thursday if the night before Good Friday. It is a touching gathering as well. The priest kneels before a chair and washes the feet of each participant as a symbol of service to humanity. It’s very moving.
(Friday morning @ 12:30am)
I started this post a few days ago. I haven’t been able to post it either because I couldn’t find words or I fell asleep before finishing. I’m posting it now as I am already thinking of the next post. My brain is full and it will need to be emptied soon. Stay tuned.