Observing Lent in Tyler TX

by admin on February 13, 2013

in Churches, Episcopal

lentI can’t believe it’s Ash Wednesday already. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Advent and hanging Christmas lights. For readers who may be unfamiliar with the Church calendar, traditionally Christians take the forty days leading up to Easter to fast from something they enjoy in order to foster a more devotional life and reconnect with their faith. Since this is the season for confession, I’ll kick things off by admitting I felt terribly unprepared for the change in focus this year. I haven’t wanted to be serious, or to make myself pray and to confess my sins. And I didn’t really want to fast this year. Over the years I’ve taken on a lot of different fasts; coffee, sweets, junk food in general, adult beverages, new books, even social media, (which I must admit was a little lame since it didn’t end up posing much of a sacrifice).

In my experience many Christians, even those who observe the season of Lent, seem to miss the point sometimes. It’s not about giving up what I shouldn’t be doing anyway. Nor is it about skipping out on my responsibilities in the name of religious observance. And it’s not about punching a religious ticket in order to climb the piety ladder. Yes, it is about spiritual discipline. It’s also about my own repentance and humility before God. It’s about seeing myself as I truly am and trying to make the corrections I need to make. And it’s about devotion, being consistent and persistent in prayer. In short I guess it’s about “living intentionally,” as the saying goes, being deliberate in the exercise of my faith and making good choices, even when they’re small ones.

So as I prepare for the Ash Wednesday service, I’m trying to take the long view, to make the extra effort to participate in, and be true to the little acts of piety and faith I might otherwise let fall by the wayside. And I’m trying to let my son see me meet these obligations, so that hopefully he’ll do the same for his son. Have a Holy Lent East Texas, and remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

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