Fat Tuesday

Tomorrow begins the 40 days of Lent. A period of time on the Church calendar set aside for adherents to search their hearts, confessing those areas of life where they fall short, and looking with anticipation of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

Without the resurrection, Christianity is nothing. A false dream. Even as an adolescent as I met some followers of “liberal Protestantism” and read books on the subject, I wondered what they preached if not the resurrection. Why call yourself Christian? God-follower, maybe, but Christian, no. And I was raised in the Methodist Church (not United Methodist), a semi-liturgical church. Some vestiges of Anglicanism left but not as liturgical as the Lutherans down the road in our village. And I classify myself a liberal, except for that.

Today is the day historically when people would clean out pantries to eat up food that might spoil during the next six weeks of fasting. So, people got fat celebrating the beginning of Lent, lost weight by fasting for 40 days, then gained it all back Easter Sunday.

Easter is spring in the northern hemisphere. The time of rebirth. Growth beginning. Jesus returning to life. The Church beginning its spectacular growth.

So, today, I started off with a traditional Polish Fat Tuesday treat, Paczki (poonch-key, approximate pronunciation, I’m not Polish and don’t have the right ‘a’ vowel on my keyboard).

I’d better celebrate, because I’m already deep in reflection on areas where I’ve fallen short of the target. And Lent doesn’t even begin for 20 hours.

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