Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras

Literally - "Fat Tuesday"

The day before Ash Wednesday - the beginning of the season of Lent. Traditionally, the day you enjoy whatever it is you're going to be sacrificing during Lent to make room for God in your life. The painful thing is - how much humanity embraces Mardi Gras - compared to how much humanity embraces Ash Wednesday.

Many evangelical churches even - have lost some connection to the Church calendar, simply as a reaction of "not wanting to look Catholic" (as if it's a religion other than Christian?), and as if they're history is somehow not our own? How many Jesus-seeking, Easter celebrating Christians will go out and get free pancakes today, or enjoy indulging a bit more than usual; and tomorrow will simply resume life as normal?

We are a Mardi Gras culture. A people that love to indulge. We love to party. We do not enjoy remembering that we are human/dust. We cringe to remember that we are limited. We want to be heroes. We want to be above natural limitations. We want to pretend we control our lives.

I guess that's a lot of "we" statements.

Not sure what I'm trying to say, other than I wish Mardi Gras was the day we'd forgotten about.

But that might be weird. An "Ash Wednesday Party" probably would be awkward:

"Hey." "Hey." "Nice ashes." "Thanks." "So how are you celebrating Lent?" "I'm giving up cheese." "Whoa, that's intense." "Looking forward to Easter, for sure...."

So maybe no parties or beads for Wednesday. I'm not against Mardi Gras - as long as it happens with the perspective of Ash Wednesday and a 40 day journey towards celebrating Easter as the focus. But I don't see that happening anytime soon. Then again, I suppose waking up with a hangover will remind many people on Wednesday that they are limited/human.

May we love those around us by speaking of our need for the "other" this week...

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