Monday, February 23, 2015

Little Easters in the Middle of Lent

Each Sunday in Lent is considered to be a "Little Easter" and is not part of Lent, actually.  So, you can eat that chocolate cake that you gave up for Lent one day a week, on Sunday.  If one adds up all the days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday you come up with more than 40 days.  The Early Church decided that on Sundays we should always proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ so Sundays became days of celebration even during Lent.  Adhering strictly to the Lenten discipline that you set before you on Ash Wednesday is noble but you can "live a little" on each Sunday even during the Lenten season.

Sundays are special days year round.  When one is accustomed to attending worship services on Sundays and rarely misses them, it seems unnatural to be elsewhere on Sunday morning.  Sundays seem incomplete without church attendance to many of us.  There is a certain air about Sundays that may have to do with people having a different schedule than during the work week.  Even after being in worship, Sunday afternoons seem lazy and long, perfect times for reading the newspaper and then taking a nap.  I love Sunday afternoon naps and I usually try to work one in every Sunday if I can.  Then, after waking from the nap, a good cup of coffee and maybe something to go with it, such as a piece of cake or pie or a couple cookies reinforces the Sunday lazy feeling.

Some people like to be out and about on Sundays and that is nice now and then but having a relaxing, lazy Sunday afternoon is more of a treat to me than driving into the city to see a movie or getting involved in some activity that will take a lot of energy out of me.  The commandment to "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" has many interpretations.  Honoring the Sabbath, to Christians that is Sunday, may mean doing very little and actually "resting" as the scripture says God did after God finished the busy task of creation in six days.

Sundays in Lent are reflective, worshipful days centered on the themes of covenant and cross, discipleship and duty, and offer us the opportunity to think about our relationship to God and our neighbors.  Sundays are the perfect days to allow God to speak to us as we slow down enough to hear God's voice.  Monday will come soon enough, too soon for most of us.  Enjoy each Sunday during Lent and savor each moment as much as you may savor that cake you deny yourself the other six days of the week during Lent.  Come Easter, resurrection cake will taste even sweeter and be more satisfying because you proved to yourself that you could do without it most of the time in order to enjoy the reward of it later after the 40 Days have ended.    

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