Monday, March 7, 2011
A Time To Celebrate Old Traditions in a New Way
As winter slowly melts away, spring becomes quite the buzz in our house. And with talk of Spring comes talk of Easter. And this year, our Easter conversations became a springboard for Ash Wednesday and Lent. It was Kaylynn who noticed Ash Wednesday on the calendar and asked us about it. So, off we went to research. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and Lent is the 40 (or 46 depending on the culture) days leading up to Easter. Lent is traditionally a time of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. God's people would, and still do, fast in various ways. They would use their time during Lent to give more time to prayer and giving. Often, the fast was from food entirely, eating during certain hours of the day, or certain types of food. They would take the money they would have spent on the food and give it to the poor. Lent also included a fast from all festivities as it was meant to be a time of grieving Christ's sacrifice, concluding with a large celebration in honor of His resurrection. We have never "celebrated" Lent but look forward to it this year both as a homeschool lesson and as a time to reflect on the purpose of Christ's life and what He has for us. After a quite lengthy discussion and many goofy ideas, we came up with some practical things to fast (as a family). We kept them simple so we could do this together. We will be fasting all media which includes internet, movies, and computer games. This will not be too terribly difficult because we do not own a TV and only watch movies as family time; we don't spend a large amount of time online, and we do not play too many computer games (the kids do have a favorite building game, but they are willing to put that on pause for the next month). Now, having said that, we will make internet allowances for work (Alan needs this) and for school (I need this). We will also be fasting all dairy products (which I am already doing because of Cami's allergy, but the kids wanted to try it). I look forward to the extra time in prayer and giving as a family and the extra focus on Christ. I feel like this is a good time to refresh and spend extra time meditating on scripture and allowing Christ to pour into us so that we may pour into those around us.