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Craig’s Corner 2019 March

What are you giving up for Lent this year?

You always know its Lent when McDonalds starts pushing HARD for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich.  And while I don’t do the “no meat on Fridays” thing, I do traditionally give something up for Lent.  I’ve given up red meat, soda, French fries – all sorts of different stuff.  This year I’m giving up gluten and sweets.  That last one in particular is hard.  Sweets.  Cassie knows what kind of a sweet tooth I have, and that means no cakes, no candy, no cookies, no ice cream, no pie until Easter.  Technically, you CAN splurge on Sunday since that is the day we celebrate Christ, but other than my birthday (which does fall on a Sunday), I’m going to try to go the whole time without anything sweet.  Yikes.

I know as Protestants we don’t HAVE to participate in the Lenten practice of sacrifice, but for me I think it’s worthwhile and I want to encourage you to do the same.  It doesn’t have to be sweets, but something that is challenging for you to give up.  It could be coffee.  Or soda.  Or video games.  Whatever pushes your boundaries.  It might even be life changing.  One year I gave up caffeine and have never missed it since.  But it sure was hard.  

The point of giving something up is to, in a small way, understand the meaning of sacrifice and to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for us all.  But I also want you to think of giving something up in a new way.  Rev. Akiko shared this with me when we served together at UJCC and I found it so enlightening.  What if instead of just giving something up like coffee, we really gave something UP!  What if instead we pledged to pray more, read more of the Bible (or start reading it as the case may be), to give more just during this time and see what God has in store for us?  We will be exploring this concept of “Giving UP!” in our sermon series of the same title.  Won’t you join us?

I hope this Lenten period will be one of joy for you, even in the midst (or maybe because) of our sacrifice.  I hope you will use this time to reflect even more on Christ and what his life means for your own.  And I hope we will come together on Easter morning and celebrate together the risen Christ, both in history and in our hearts.  

Peace and Blessings,

Craig