Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

The name “Fat Tuesday” came from the Christian tradition of abstaining from meat for the 40 days of Lent. The day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, families and neighbors gathered together to rid their houses of all the “fat”.

Some Christians don’t want anything to do with Mardi Gras for understandable reasons. The name has become synonymous with drunkenness and immorality. But that was not what it was intended to be. Lent is a rather somber season, and tonight will be the last celebration until Easter. Rather than removing the celebration just because it has been misused and turned into something else, we will reclaim it for what it was intended to be!

Our Church family gathered tonight to enjoy a few simple pleasures (not sins!) before our period of self-denial. I see nothing wrong with that--to everything there is a time and season. I do recognize that just as the practices I will undertake during Lent can help me to grow spiritually, some practices can hinder my spiritual progress, such as overindulgence and drunkenness. So we will not do those things. We will just celebrate.

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