A short blurb for the month of March. First a bit on sports. If you like sports, or you are a human that likes excitement and has felt your heart rate rise at some point in your life, March is for you. It provides arguably, though I don’t agree, the most exciting playoffs in all of sports. It provides big games almost every day from here to the end of April. As college basketball insider John Rothstien says, we sleep in May. Because this is March and there are many a bleary-eyed late night ahead for sports watching shenanigans.
For the Church, the month of March is the Month of Lent. So we give something up as Christians to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us. For me the yearly give up is soda! Hopefully this year will be the year I can actually see it all the way through. I haven’t had a soda since January as I resolved to drink less of it in the new year and thus far I am holding steadfast to that resolution! The crucible of Lent will come March 9-16 when I visit my grandparents back east for Grandpa Rodneys 80th birthday. My Grandma Stephany has a notorious sweet tooth. Any hope of a diet, a new years resolution, or a Lenten fast is crushed by a trip to southern Pennsylvania. So I have been thinking a lot recently, would Jesus really care that much about what we gave up for Lent?
I suggest the answer may not be either/or. It seems to me that no answer of theological proportions one or the other, after all. I think Jesus probably wants us to hold to our Lenten fasts. However he is also a merciful God. If we slip up, there is forgiveness, and so maybe that is what we should focus on. We should cherish all the times we slip up in Lent because God is good and God forgives. Surely God will forgive sharing a Coke float with one’s grandmother back on the farm. Good luck with your Lenten fasts!