Posted originally on the conservative tree house on March 2, 2022 | Menagerie
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.
Added, from a comment I made yesterday on the Mardi Gras post, in answer to a question about Mardi Gras excesses. I think part of it fits here as well.
I’m not from New Orleans, or any of the other cities across the world where Mardi Gras and Carnival are celebrated. I don’t understand the costumes or krewes or other traditions, nor how they got started. I would guess though, that their origins were not entirely without religious significance. The secular world has of course intruded, but there are deep roots underneath.
I myself hope to slay some demons of my own during the 40 days. Perhaps giving face to them now helps do that.
Here is my Catholic take, for what it is worth.
My celebration of Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras is quite simple, maybe having pancakes for supper, a few extra sweets, especially if I’m giving them up for Lent. It’s a little celebratory, clear the decks kind of day as I focus my mind on the upcoming journey I want to make with Jesus during Lent. Kind of a clear out the old, extraneous, the unnecessary, the frivolous to make room for more somber, serious, and much more worthwhile things.
From a religious standpoint, Fat Tuesday is really about Lent. I have never experienced more changed (me, inside), joy filled, grace filled Easters than I have since converting to Catholicism and learning to live by the liturgical calendar, following the life and ministry, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and the building of the Church, especially Lent and Easter.
We Christians are not meant to stand still, to tread water. We are meant to literally burst at the seems with driving, passionate, exploding growth. Lent helps us grow, pare back, trim off dead growth and condition ourselves for that growth.
Today we celebrate and appreciate all the culmination of great things the Lord has given us. Tomorrow we begin to give back in a special way some of those gifts in order to make room for more.
God is bountiful like that. The more he gives us, the more we accept and give away in turn, the more and more and more he wants to give us.
Lent is a journey where we get to know and love Jesus a little better, and to open ourselves to the true light and joy and love and hope of Easter Sunday.
If you aren’t familiar with it, and you are interested in learning more, begin with us today and follow along weekly as we journey toward the Cross and Resurrection with Jesus.