Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

To day is Ash Wednesday, so for the past few days I've been thinking about what, if anything, I would give up for Lent. Some years I give something up, some years I don't. I decided I would give something up this year, but I couldn't decide what exactly. I settled on chocolate. I eat way too much chocolate. I love it. I try to be healthy, but chocolate is my vice. Big time.

After mulling my decision over for a couple more days, I decided chocolate would be too hard. In my mind, there was no way I could make it without chocolate for over a month. Then I stopped. I realized that Jesus gave up his life and God gave up his son so that I could have everlasting life. And I am worried about not having chocolate?! I felt pathetic. Worse than pathetic. What kind of believer am I that instead of showing God how grateful I am and striving to become closer to him I choose a lump of cocoa and sugar? This was a serious life moment for me.

All that being said, I am giving up chocolate. The Thin Mints I ordered (that just happened to have come in yesterday) will have to wait. I serve a loving God and I know he will see me through.

Here are 10 facts about Lent...

1. Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance.

2. Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of Lent.

3. During Lent, one commits to fasting or giving up certain luxuries as a form of penitence. 

4. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the 3 major characteristics of Lent and how people celebrate it.

5. Many people also choose to give up a vice, becoming closer to God.

6. The 6th Sunday of Lent, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week.

7. Holy Week is the final week of Lent immediately preceding Easter.

8. Ashes marked in a cross on foreheads signify mourning and repentance before God.

9. The ashes used are from burned palms from the previous Palm Sunday.

10. Ashes were used in biblical times to express or mark mourning. 

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