-Pastor Melissa Fain-
In March/April of 2020 I watched as countless people posted:
"This is the Lentiest Lent we have ever Lent."
Then everyone reacted with a laugh emoji and moved on. What else was there to do?
I feel the Christian Calendar exists, in part, to give us a way to authentically react to life.
In an American culture, we've kinda lost the purpose of Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday.
In reality, it was preparing for a fast. It was a no yeast diet, and a no fat or red meat. Therefore, this being the day before fasting, all the yeast and fatty meats were to be used up so it wouldn't go bad. Now it's an excuse to overdo it, whatever each of us have to overdo.
No one sees it as the first step to accepting loss, which is what it really is.
You don't need me to tell you when you are ready for that step.
You don't need to start that process today.
Nor, if you do start that process, does it need to be over and done with by Easter. These things take years.
You might need to spend this time "pretending Lent," and that's fine. Many of us would no longer call March/April 2020 the "Lentiest Lent we have ever Lent," We have gone through a collective loss, that somehow keeps taking. While there were many things about these past two years that were communal, how we process it is personal.
If you are not ready to give up your version of yeast and red meat, that's you working on your own time. It's not for me or anyone else reading this to decide.
No matter what you are planning to do this Lent: May God be with you on your journey.