Hey everyone. I know its been a while since I have written on my blog. It was so easy to find time to write last summer, when I was taking time off from work and was just a student. Life quickly caught up with me after I finished school. Just wanted to say that I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. My Easter season was pretty nice. I have been teaching an ESL (English as a Second Language) Sunday School class the past 9 months or so since a family at my church adopted three children from Estonia. Although none of my usual children were there on Easter, I had a beautiful little kindergartener visiting. She was a little shy so her mother (who was five months pregnant) stayed for class too. I visited children’s church a little during the service. There were fourteen children total including several from my usual Sunday School class (our Estonian girls looked like little princesses) so they had the teacher had their hands full. Easter dinner went well at Grace Alliance. I ate way too much ham, but it was happy times. Perhaps the most interesting part of my Easter season was my participation in Lent. I am not Catholic, but I have come to appreciate many aspects of the Catholic faith since my week stay in a monastic monastery here in my area last summer. I am also currently dating a Christian Catholic so I thought it would be nice to observe lent a long side him. Lent is the six week period (40 days traditionally to represent the forty days the Lord spent in fasting before he started his ministry) of the before Easter when those of the faith abstain from things they indulge to represent the sacrifice Christ gave up for us. I abstained from chocolate (in any form – did not realize how hard that would be til I couldn’t have my chocolate tea or hot cocoa). Lent observers also do not eat meat on Fridays (sex is also abstained from on Fridays for those who are married and taking practice in this) as it is a meant to be a day of cleansing and reflection over the week. I eat very little meat so Fridays were not a huge sacrifice for me, except when I had to tell my friends why I couldn’t join them for a pot roast dinner or steak, etc. Some critics in my faith scoffed at the idea of an Evangelical Christian taking part in lent, but Christ gave up so much for me why could I not give up a little something I tend to over indulge in thankfulness for what he did for me.
Every time I would start to have that piece of chocolate or cup of cocoa, I would stop myself and thank God for the sacrifice he gave for me by allowing his son to die on the cross for me. We are told in the scriptures to fast. In this passover observance I was fasting from something, which was not good for me. I will likely continue to take part in the sacrament of lent in the future, because it did cause me to reflect much upon the sacrifice Christ made for me. I also had some health benefits as I lost a little stomach weight. Not bad at all. I have been enjoying my Hershey Hugs (my favorite chocolate) and cups of hot chocolate since the day after Easter. I am taking it slowly. I do not want to make myself sick by over-eating it now. I do not think I would choose chocolate again next year. I will try to keep a weekly journal of Lent next year so you get a better picture of what it is all about. Hope everyone had a Happy Resurrection Day. It is one day of the year. Let us reflect daily on what Christ has done for us.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.[b]
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
“let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”