Monday, February 23, 2009

Lent - Stop the Madness!!!

The season of Lent begins Wednesday, and can you believe all the hype? Radio stations started playing all the Lent carols weeks ago and I’m so sick of them by now! Entire aisles in the Mega Mart stores have been selling all the Lent decorations at sale prices since the Epiphany! And the kids won’t stop bugging me to go and visit Lenty Claus at the mall, dressed in his purple suit and handing out ash to all the repentant girls and boys.

The commercialization of Lent has got to stop. This is supposed to be a sacred time of preparation and confession, drawing us closer to God as we look forward to Easter and the celebration of resurrection and new birth. And now our schools are cancelling their Lent Breaks, calling them instead some generic term like “Spring Break” or something. I mean, really! We all know that people take that week in order to refocus on the spiritual disciplines, fasting, praying the daily office, and deep study of scripture. Let’s just call it what it is.

It just seems like this time of year is so frantic, all the Lent parties to go to, all the Lent concerts and special events. How are we ever going to get to them all? I’m not even going to have time to go out and buy any new Lent clothes. We also need a new sprig of hyssop to hang in the front hallway. And when are we going to find time to decorate our Lenten Tree? We’re never going to have the house ready for the Holy Week Homes Tour!

Join me in decrying the secularization of Lent! Remember the rationale for the period of time. This year, let’s not give in to the consumeristic pressure we always feel, but rather remember the Lents of days gone by, when times were simpler. Consider home-made Lent cards instead of store-bought gifts. Do you really need to make that fourth dozen of tenebrae cookies, or will three dozen suffice? Remember, Lent isn’t Lent till it happens in your heart.

11 comments:

Kory Wilcox said...

I hear that TARGET doesn't let their employees say "merry lent" to customers anymore either. Now they have to say things like "have a good day" and "bye bye now!" It's ridiculous. Boycott TARGET.

Anonymous said...

I find the title of your post highly inflammatory and most offensive. I grew up in Illinois where the term March Madness was coined. I will not stop the Madness! Furthermore, I will only give you my brackets when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!
By the way you mispelled lint!

Joseph

Anonymous said...

This Lent, I’m giving up eating nutria. So far “the man” hasn’t pushed me back on my chosen form of religious expression, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

I mostly celebrate Lent for the fillet-o-fish extra value meals McDs put on Friday special here!

-Mitch

bridger said...

The more confusion and commercialization, the more of an opportunity for "Festivus" to rear it's ugly head.

Let's stay focused,
"Repentance --- The reason for the season"

Danny Boy said...

Jenny and I are just going to make sure and eat plenty of "Lentils"...

steveh said...

The ironic thing is that Lent – or more specifically, Jesus dying on the cross for us – is the real/best Christmas gift.
PS. I plan on hunting eggs from the Lenten bunny this year with my new grandson!

Adam said...

I did see a sign at taco bell yesterday saying "You don't have to give up taste for lent" with all their meat free items.

There's hope!

Joe Barone said...

The commercialization of Lent! These must be hard times. Commercializing Lent is the last thing in the world I would have expected.

Anonymous said...

May I turn your blog into a skit to use at worship services? I think it would be great! cb

Andy B. said...

Yes, cb. I would be honored!

John Schmalzbauer said...

Just heard that a Disciples of Christ pastor in town quoted this post in a sermon.