"Turn out the lights, the
party’s over.” Or is it?
beads and trinkets have been donated to the children’s ministry, the last
crumbs of King Cake devoured, and weekends are finally clear (well sort of) of
gatherings, parties, parades and traffic. What was the whirlwind of Mardi Gras
the throwing of beads and fighting for moon pies, our kids made crucial
discoveries that Mardi Gras was bigger than us and had faith ties. Such as the
history of the King Cake, the deeper significance to finding the baby in the
cake, the history of “float throws”, the meaning of the Mardi Gras colors and
the meaning of Mardi Gras…
Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday, is the day before “Ash Wednesday” when many would
clear their pantry of sugars, meats, sweet breads, and many other food items
before fasting for Lent. On Mardi Gras, many would throw a big festival which
involved copious amounts of food. All of this, the day before fasting and
supplication began for Lent on Ash Wednesday.
have many wonderful visuals and activities to turn us back to Christ during
Mardi Gras season, but what happens when it is over? What happens when the
celebrations stop? Now what?
the celebration doesn’t stop. It simply morphs into something new, with a
deeper, personal meaning.
“Ash Wednesday” and “Lent”.
our kids will be discussing the significance of both.
Wednesday is a
day when we reflect on how from the dust of the earth we have come (Genesis 2:
God didn’t go to Walmart to create Adam… God scooped up the dust of the ground
and breathed life into it) and to the earth we will return when Jesus calls us
home. Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our mortality and the hope we have in the
Lent is a 40 day period to focus
on becoming more like Jesus. Lent begins Ash Wednesday and ends Easter Sunday.
Sundays are excluded during Lent, because they are considered “Mini Easter
Sundays”. Traditionally, Lent is a time for fasting, prayer, and service. Lent
is a time when we give up something, or take on something, in order to become
more like Christ. Though common “things” among kids to give up are: sweets,
video games, social media… we can give up something more. We can give up traits
such as, bitterness, apathy, envy… we can take on being kinder, more giving of
our time, being a better listener, memorizing scripture… There are so many
wonderful things we can do to grow closer to our Savior.
is not only a time of reflection, it is a time of celebration. It is a time, as
a family, we learn to step away from the chaos of our schedules and focus on
what is most important, our relationship with Christ. It is a time when we
focus on celebrating Him.
the next week, First Baptist Shreveport will be passing out Lenten Family
Calendars. These family calendars have individual activities for each family to
participate. Any family dynamic can participate, from the single adult to
families with children, to very empty nesters. Our mission during this time is
to grow closer to God as individuals and as a church.
invite you to church tonight, and this Sunday, as we are reminded the “party”
is just getting started. We cannot wait to journey to the cross with you.