Today marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday and today according the liturgical church calendar for millions of Christians and for 100’s of years, the church has commemorated “Ash Wednesday” (maybe you’ve noticed people with ashes on their foreheads around town)— Ash Wednesday is a day of humbling ourselves in fasting, prayer and repentance as we begin the Lenten season.
This year for the first time since 1945 Lent (a day for humility & fasting) and Valentines day (a day for wine, steak, chocolate and xoxox :) have bumped into each other… what do we do when spiritual discipline and repentance overlap with generous love and chocolate?
Are these two things as far from each other as it might first appear? Is there a way to approach humility and contrition with love and celebration? Paul spoke of this paradox in his own ministry and life…
Christianity is life in a paradox, glory and dishonor, bad report and good report, dying yet we live, sorrowful yet always rejoicing… however you choose to spend the day with wine and chocolate or in fasting and humble repentance or a combo of both…
Here are some suggestions:
1. Avoid excess of indulgence in the champagne, meat & sweets
2. Make it a point to recognize God as center in your romantic relationship
3. Remember that although meat & alcohol aren’t allowed on “Ash Wednesday” for those in the liturgical church tradition— married sexual love is not forbidden on Ash Wednesday… so there’s a way to celebrate “National Love Day” by making some!
4. Use this an opportunity to say “I Love You” to people in your life! (not just your romantic relationship)
5. Perhaps you can take a moment to prayerfully read and consider 1 Corinthians 13 Pauls great chapter on LOVE!
Happy Ash/Valentines Wednesday!
Love God and Love People today and you can live into them both!