How do you celebrate/honor the Lent season? It almost seems…. optional for a Protestant Christian (aka non-Catholic). Now, I don’t know if that would be correct, but let me share my experience. I really never have done anything different for Lent season, but since it’s coming up (Next Wednesday), I’m intrigued. I want to do something special as we look forward to Easter. Is there a proper way to honor this time as a non-Catholic? I’m unsure.
Here is part of my background:
I was infant-baptized Catholic and even spent a short amount of time in CCD classes as a child at a Catholic Church, however,I did not really grow up in the Catholic Church. In fact, for many years we didn’t go to church very often. My parents felt unwelcome at the Catholic Church (don’t know why?) at one point or another, and took a break, so to speak. Really, they decided not to go to a Catholic Church anymore. Sometimes growing up, we’d get to church because of invitations to Baptist awana on Wednesdays, which is when I had first heard and said the prayer of salvation. Then, eventually (intermittently and at overlapping times), we became members at the local Presbyterian church. Why? Well, because my parents found they liked it there better. They felt welcome. They found friends. Why Presbyterian? Good question… I really don’t know. It’s Christian, it’s nice, it had good pastors and people. But why that “flavor” of Christian? I never could answer that question! (Is that bad? Probably.) The church family at our Presbyterian church was quaint, loving and very friendly. It was a nice church to grow up in. I still was missing something. However, it’s very likely I wasn’t listening to all the sermons growing up. I don’t really remember much about the Lent season except maybe a few different candles were lit during services for a few weeks, maybe some extra readings Anything more than that seemed totally optional. However, when different seasons come and go (like Lent, for example) I often have wondered: Why did it seem optional to do more? Is it optional or is it something I’ve just never put thought into? Was I taught more and didn’t soak it in? This was a thought more recently, and especially now the Easter season is rolling around. Lent was and is a topic some people do talk about. Friday’s are local fish fries and some co-workers do their “Catholic thing” during Lent. (But what is that, even??).
I was able to be confirmed as a teenager, get married in the church and still not really understand my faith. If someone asked why (or what) I believed, I didn’t have a solid answer. I also didn’t have a solid moral standpoint on “hot topic” issues – but that’s a whole different post. Now, about 6 years after really grasping that you need to have a personal relationship with Christ, I am understanding more. My faith has grown. However, these questions come up more and more as I study the Bible and have in my heart a desire to really spend time with Jesus and reflect His heart into my own.
So, before I babble on for 1,000 more words, let me get to my point. This gets me to my question:
If you’re (a practicing) Catholic, what does the Lent season hold for you? How do you honor it?
If you’re Protestant (aka not Catholic), do you do anything special for the Lenten season?
PS… If you’re not in the Christian faith at all, I’d be curious to know if Easter has an affect on your springtime season at all. After all, we do know that there are many non-Christians who celebrate Easter- just more of the hidden Easter eggs and not risen Jesus type Easter. (But I call that a seed planting to potential Christianity…. just my thought).