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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras!

"Fat Tuesday" is upon us. Then again, for us-uns in the U S of A, fat seems to be upon us an average of 365 days a year (whether on the mind or on the hip).

This day was instituted long before Trim Spa or Metabolife or any weight reduction miracle in a pill.

This was - instead - the permissible binge before the austerity of Lent. The butter, lard, fat, grease, sugars could all be on the menu today because tomorrow... tomorrow there would be none of this and none of that. Cupboards were cleaned of any manner of indulgent, rich items and austerity took their place.

I understand the why the Church may have instituted a season - paralleling the approach of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ - during which a spirit of contrition for one's sins and offenses might be derived from by repentance, prayer or some additional tool such as fasting and self-denial. If we go to the particular service in the Book of Common Prayer for Ash Wednesday, we see an ancient invitation to this season.

When I was growing up (as a Roman Catholic - in pre-Vatican II days of meatless Fridays) it was hard to decide what to give up. My Methodist friend, Kathy Millay, would tell me with tongue in cheek that her family had sworn off chocolate covered ants for the duration of Lent, no matter how much of a sacrifice it was to them.

The very idea of sacrifice in a land of relative abundance and unbridled consumerism is a foreign notion. To offer something of value to appease or conciliate God; to surrender something valued for the sake of something having a higher claim.

In an age dedicated to self-serving interests where does sacrifice fit in? After Fat Tuesday, let us pray that we will have room somewhere - in our minds, in our hearts, in our souls or perhaps even in our waistbands - to let the Holy Spirit in to guide us in the direction from aggrandizement to gratitude.


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