Monday, February 15, 2010

Lenten Fast

I have a love/hate relationship with the Church Calendar. Having grown up within a Protestant tradition that mainly de-valued church tradition, I find myself drawn to the idea of having a well-traveled pathway through the year. But being the guy who loves to re-invent everything, I also like that I am not bound to it.

Through my twenties I experimented with some aggressive dietary fasts during Lent including a few years as a vegan. I learned some things about God and myself...but I also learned that it doesn't take much for the act of giving up something to become a little contrived and Pharisaical.

This year I plan on giving up mindless internet surfing. I think I can limit my non-work related internet usage to 15 minutes per day. This is going to give me at least an hour daily to redirect into some other area.

At this point I am considering reading the Bible straight through with the goal of finishing by Easter. I haven't methodically read the Bible cover to cover for more than two years and it is always a positive experience for me. I would like to read it this time with one question in mind. I'm prayerfully considering what that question will be. I am most drawn to ask something about the use and power of story...

I may or may not blog about what I am learning...I'll have to decide if blogging is part of mindless internet surfing :)

Lent begins this Wednesday. Maybe this is the year you try something new? The point is to prepare yourself for Easter. To "cleanse" and focus for the greatest news we could ever receive - that though we will all die - because of Jesus, we can live again.

1 comment:

Julie Evans said...

I am so glad you posted this, Joe.

We came to VCC from a Reformed Episcopal experience and perspective. Mostly moved here for our three teens, who did feel like they were going through the motions. We felt like we needed to move to a place where the dots were connected to their hearts. VSU has been that to our kids. We are SO THANKFUL. They had the foundation, but now they have connection, community and calling; it is beautiful.

While we did enjoy the liturgy and the church calendar, we have fully planted ourselves here as a family. And haven't looked back.

This will mark our third Lent at VCC. Personally, I have enjoyed the check on "going through the motions", the freedom to "restart", and the unique and beautiful ways VCC observes the holy days on the Church calendar, Good Friday, for example.

I thought N.T. Wright had a fresh perspective on the Lenten, by not stopping at Lent and the subtraction of some thing, but esp. by the extended observance of the Easter season and the addition of some thing.

I know you recommended the book, and I would love to know your further thoughts, so I hope you blog your way through it.

I'd also like to know if you are overindulging in mindless internetting tonight as per Mardi Gras?