Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lent 2

Only recently in the classroom I was talking about Lent. One girl responded with a totally blank look.

“Well” I said, “Some people choose to give up things like crisps or biscuits, cake or chocolate.”

“Oh” she said, with the dawning of understanding on her face, “It’s a weight-loss programme is it?”

One could be forgiven for thinking that we have trivialised Lent: you know, making small sacrifices which mean nothing. You want to know about fasting, ask your Muslim friends. They understand fasting and who knows, perhaps Lent was once far more like Ramadan. If giving something up is the major symbol of those things which distract people from God, we might well ask what those distractions are today: food? Possibly; time? technology? consumerism? How can we adopt an approach to those things which cloud our relationship with God? Perhaps less giving up and more taking on would help: a greater commitment to recycling, eating locally produced foods, leaving a smaller carbon footprint upon the planet... So many challenges, choosing one could be life-giving in so many unexpected ways.