Day 18 – Learn something I do not already know about Lent.
I have read on other blogs and I have even said it myself, ‘I am not bothered if no one reads my blog, I write it for myself!’ Are you sure about that? Although I have decided to keep writing my blog whether people read it or not it’s such a ‘yummy’ feeling inside when someone reads it all the way to the bottom and then leaves an amazing reply. Yesterday this amazing thing actually happened. Yesterday I asked on my blog if someone could explain Lent and it’s connection to Easter to me and my friend, Sharon over at ‘A Number of Things’ left me this lovely comment. As this was going to my post for today, although I would have had to go do some Googling before hand, I thought I would share her comment in full, accompanied with a big thank you.
‘What I’ve been told about the connection between Lent and Easter goes like this: In the very early centuries of Christianity, the custom was to baptize people at Easter because baptism was seen as a sort of resurrection. Most of the new church members back then had grown up as pagans, so they needed a period of instruction to understand just what Christians believe and what they were supposed to do and not do – and the best time for this training was in the weeks leading up to their Easter baptism.
As the years went by, people came to expect that the new Christians would do various “special” things – give up some of their normal habits or add extra virtuous activities – while they were being prepared for baptism. And then other church members joined the new converts in this custom of giving up or taking on something before Easter. Before long, all Christians were expected to follow this custom, and it also came to be seen as a time of mourning for Christ’s death – mourning after Good Friday wouldn’t be appropriate (for more than a day, anyhow), since we move so quickly into the overwhelming celebration of Easter.
(And why do we call it “Lent”? Well, apparently that really has nothing to do with Easter – Lent is a form of “lengthen”, because here in the northern hemisphere, Lent comes when the days are lengthening for spring.)’
Just to add a little more; The Catholic Resource Centre states that Lent has been observed since A.D 313, so it has been going on a while. Also that Christian adherence to Lent is not as strict as it once used to be, whereas once people were expected to fast and abstain from worldly pursuits today people tend to take a gentler (can I say that?) route and usually give up luxuries such as chocolate and sugar. Lent was seen as a time of prayer and self examination between and individual and the Lord and this is still true of today.
Before Jesus was born many did not believe he would come and that the prophets of old were just trying to keep the people in order. However I believe in that Jesus and in the words of the prophets who teach that the resurrected Jesus Christ will one day return to the earth to redeem his people. For me every day is part of that preparations. It’s is nearly half way through Lent now and I have learnt much and changed some, but I have also realised that there is much to be done and it’s up to the individual to bring about the changes needed to create a better world for the future.
If there was one thing that you could change in your life to make your life better, what would it be and would you be willing to sacrifice whatever is needed to bring about that change?