Monday, March 7, 2011
I was looking for inspiration for MOPS and realized it is Mardi Gras today. Not being from the south, I didn't know much about it, but in doing some research about the holiday, I was having a hard time correlating Mardi Gras with MOPS until I came across the Kings cake. I had never heard of this but if the word cake is in the description I figured it was at least worth looking into. Turns out it was exactly what I was looking for. Apparently, this cake is served during Mardi Gras to celebrate the last "hurrah" before the start of Lent the next day. Traditionally, there is a baby in a slice of the cake, whoever gets the baby is said to have good luck in the next year...
So this got me thinking about Lent, as a new believer I have never given anything up for Lent and honestly didn't know much about it. So I started looking into the tradition and found that it is mostly a Catholic tradition that involves giving something up for the 40 days before Easter to signify all that Jesus gave up for us. I began to think about that and began to feel this pull to at least consider it and to discuss it with my kids. The first thing I thought of was giving up desserts, I don't eat a ton of them, but when I do I love them! So in talking to my 4 year old about Lent and giving something up I mentioned giving up desserts and she began to cry, maybe she is a little to young yet!
I do like the thought, though, of giving up something that I enjoy, in the name of Jesus. I think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, for us. He gave his life so that we could live our lives to the fullest. As a new believer, I look at my life 2 years ago before I accepted Jesus and look at it now and realize that I am a completely new person, so much better and so much more whole than I was without Jesus in my life. I owe him my life, certainly I can give up some sugar for 40 days to thank him for all he has done for me! The other side to Lent, as I see it, is to spend more time each day with Jesus. I don't think that giving up the occasional dessert without any further reflection is all that this season has to offer. I plan to spend more time each day reading and reflecting on the bible, more time in prayer (which is admittedly the weak point in my faith), and most importantly, more time listening for the word of God. I am amazed at how much I hear from Him when I take the time to listen for His voice. So, off to have a piece of Kings Cake!!!