Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh Thou Holy Hershey Bar

So here's a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a few days now. I don't get Lent. And not in the "What's it all about?" technical sense of Lent (I grew up Catholic for god's sake- I get Lent). I understand wanting to show a little solidarity with the J-man, but the idea of giving up pop or candy or swearing to do it is beyond ridiculous to me. I'm thinking you don't get to the Pearly Gates (which in my head are not Pearly Gates at all, but more like the turnstiles at the entrance to an amusememnt park where you can see the top of the first hill of the best roller coaster.... or maybe like opening the door into the noisy quiet of your favorite coffee shop...but I am getting parenthetically long-winded here...) and get a ton of credit for not shoving your face full of candy bars for a few weeks out of the year. I'm thinking there is no way that Jesus looks at any of that and goes "Oh! You didn't suck down a case of Coke back there in Lent of 2010? Dude, we're even." And then he gives you a high five. But not a regular high five. One of those bro ones. The up-high-down-low-behind-the-back-fist-bump kinds.

Just a thought....


  1. I like the idea of giving up things (Coke, swearing, etc.) for 40 days as an expression of penance and discipline - until Easter - at which point you get to go back to doing all of it.

    I am yet to meet someone who has said that giving something up for Lent deepened them as a person in a lasting way. I imagine there are people who have benefited from it (maybe), but it largely seems like most people do it because they are "supposed to." Ironically, huge parts of the New Testament warn against doing things for "show."

    Thats why I choose to celebrate "Lint" instead - where I don't use fabric softener for 40 days.

  2. There have to be better uses of your time and efforts if Lent is supposed to be all about being closer to God or showing your Christian spirit. Giving up something for Lent is basically a Christian nap- a refusal to expend energy.

    I like the image of choosing to show you think god has some good ideas by sticking yourself to things via static electricity for 40 days.

  3. I often choose to "do something" as opposed to "giving something up." I'm much more motivated to help people/organizations and I think it's more in line with the spirit of the Lenton season.

    But, I should give up beer for Lent this year....Jesus might smile on that one.

  4. I haven't given anything up for Lent every year. I'd like to find a way to be more mindful and reflective during Lent each year, but I've never been convinced that ditching Diet Coke or Girl Scout cookies would do it.

    My personal pet peeve is when people give things up for Lent and then talk about it all the time.

    I have good intentions for doing something good (daily notes to friends and family, small donations) each year, but I haven't followed through on that either. One of these years . . .

  5. I meant to write that I haven't given anything up for Lent "in years" . . . probably not since the early nineties.