giving up something

i’ve decided to give up something.

we were talking at immergent saturday night about the rituals/practices of different religions. we talked a lot about how we look at the rituals the catholics and jews have that are so valuable. being a christian/protestant i feel like we don’t have many. i mean we do practice baptism by immersion and communion (in our church) once a month. many ‘big’ churches practice communion much, much less. we do believe strongly in spreading the gospel…’go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’ and train and send out missionaries but what do we do on a regular basis? we go to church on the weekend and if we don’t do anything but attend then we give up 1-2 hours of our day to get to and attend a service. pretty easy. yes, we are suppose to pray and read our bible and seek god and maybe we attend a weekly bible study…again taking a few hours or day to get to and attend the bible study. we try and read our bible and pray most days.

we been learning more and more about the life of jews as we have found ourselves getting to know some of them. they give up the entire sabbath (saturday), sun-up to sun-down to worshipping their god. they make a special meal, they say specific prayers together, they spend the entire day together as a family! (i don’t claim to know all they do but this is what i am learning.) when is the last time you have up your entire saturday or sunday to god. i know we are always trying to fit in other things before we get ready to go church on saturday evenings. what would happen if once in awhile we gave up the entire day?

and lent…this really got me thinking. the lent season starts tomorrow and go through easter. 40 days or so i think. most of us probably know that those who observe lent give up things. they make sacrifices in their daily life. they focus on the coming of easter and all that means. the god of all sent his ONLY son…to DIE on a cross…and he did that for ME! and for you too! at the most i think us protestants tend to start celebrating this easter on black friday, we think about that day and how jesus was nailed to cross where he died. we thank god for sending his son and try to think about what the day must have been like. saturday is probably busy with planning for the easter weekend. we might have family coming into town oh, and did we get a ham big enough? do we have enough food for easter sunday dinner? should i peel the potatoes before we leave for church in the morning? we don’t want to be waiting on mashed potatoes…everyone’s favorite! we get up sunday morning and maybe…we attend a sunrise service? maybe we eat easter breakfast at church? we attend one of the many easter sunday services at our church where we sing about the RESURRECTION of our lord! followed by this service that hopefully stirred more in our hearts for all the happened on easter morning 2,000+ years ago, off we go to eat a big fat easter sunday meal! we lounge around in the living room visiting the rest of the day with family and friends. we got to bed stuff and probably tired and then… its monday and we are off to work and school and back to life and all its demands, distractions, possibly?

i realize these scenarios aren’t the same for every person but, i bet most of them could be for the majority.

and do you know about the stations for the cross? the catholics recreate the way…the road that led to the cross. we set transformed our church sanctuary one year at this time into the stations of the cross. it is a wonderful experience to walk through them…to try and get a glimpse of all the savior went through and endured for us. the catholics do this every year!

geoffrey and i talked a lot about how great and valuable these practices of other religions could be all of us protestants to practice. do we have time in our life for them?

as soon as we started talking about lent coming up at immergent, i realized i needed to give something up. i quickly knew what that should be. i am always wanting to read more and i have two book sitting around that i really want to read but i just can’t find enough time to get good reading in! so, i’ve decided for the lent season, i am going to up TV. i don’t think i watch it a lot. there are a few shows that i ¬†plan my afternoon/evening around so when they start i can sit down, relax and watch them. we don’t have cable or a dvr but, i still think by giving it up for the next 40 days i can use that time to read! the house is quiet then so its a great time to pull things out to read. i am looking forward to it. i can also use that time to focus more the the upcoming easter season rather than putting all my focus into good friday through easter sunday only.

i’m not saying its bad to enjoy a nice easter sunday meal or go buy a delicious ham…i’m just saying that we should stop and ponder a bit. i know i need to. we should try to find ways to enjoy and celebrate this season more. we’ve got 40 days coming up…how will you use that time? no one else in history gave up the only son he had to die on cross…and to die for ALL MANKIND! “…how great is the love the father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called, children of god! and that we are! 1 john 3:1 read that again slowly…its such a great verse!

just thoughts in my heart and head i wanted to share…

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2 Comments

  1. jackie said,

    March 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    thank you sooooo much for posting this! It’s been on my heart a lot lately also. I cried the whole tome I read this. I’ve been praying about how I can change my life. How does the world know I’m set apart for my Jesus? How does my light shine so that people around me want the same thing?

    • March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      jackie, i’m so glad you were moved by this post!

      when we step outside our own little world, glorious things can happen!


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