Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thoughts on Lent

Ash Wednesday today, which marks the beginning of Lent.

I was very chuffed last week to receive a string bag order from a school where the PTA is encouraging parents to give up plastic bags for Lent. What a great idea!

Here is my household, things are a bit awkward.

Yesterday I had the privilege of 'inducting' some new mums into running the Pancake Race -- which is now a new-ish tradition -- at school. We probably raised more money than the last two or three pancake races put together. Brill.

My son brought his Palm cross from last year back to school to be burned for Ash Wednesday.

But Ash Wednesday this year is also the eve of Chinese New Year where typically we would have a reunion dinner with lots of good food. I remember often waiting up till late (especially when my sister was a nurse working shifts, or my father would wait for hours at the barber's to have his hair cut) till every one was home to have this dinner.

The pictures we see of the millions of Chinese trying to get home in snowbound China is testimony to how important is this act of the family eating together. Then the feasting and festivities are supposed to continue for another 15 days.

In the middle of Lent ....

A friend from Singapore said the Catholic church there celebrated Ash Wednesday on (Shrove) Tuesday so that the Chinese believers could have their reunion dinners/feasts today.

All a bit odd, maybe, and there are thoughts of serving two masters, I suppose.

Yet when I think a little beyond these calendrical conundrums, it is obvious that Lent is not the only time we should reflect on the suffering of Jesus. I do not have to feel guilty about not doing something which in fact I do pretty much every day.

And as for being Chinese, the Tower of Babel was God's idea, so it cannot be so bad that I feel I need to celebrate that part of my heritage.

It comes back to what my husband was taught when he first became a Christian: there is biblical Christianity and there is cultural Christianity.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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