I Don’t Celebrate Lent Anymore
Someone asked me this week what I am giving up for Lent. I have to admit, it was the first time in a long time that I had been asked that. My answer caught me off guard for a second because it was the first time I had shared the truth. “I don’t celebrate Lent.” It was an interesting question with an answer that left me wildly at peace and ridiculously happy.
Growing up Italian-Catholic, giving something up for lent was what you did. If you were like me you eventually gave in and ate the candy that you gave up, or you forgot and ate meat on Friday. If you were also like me you then guilt and shamed yourself until Easter that you couldn’t even follow something so simple, for God nonetheless! …Or you just plain lied about it because you didn’t want to feel the shame from others and if everyone else could stick with it why couldn’t you!? (Yes, I may have done that. Classy, I know.)
I remember growing up thinking me giving up candy for Lent pales in comparison to what Jesus did, and I usually felt like a jerk for thinking I could in some way repent by giving up candy… But when in Rome… You know the rest… Don’t buck the system, Dollface… At least not when God is involved.
I’ve realized something profound about what I believe and being able to acknowledge that I don’t celebrate Lent and say it out loud and own it is freeing.
Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. He defeated death and rose from the grave on the third day just like he promised he would. Jesus already paid the price.
There is nothing I can do and nothing I can say to earn the grace and forgiveness that Jesus has so freely given. No amount of candy I give up is going to show my regret for my sins. Repentance happens, for me, through a conversation with my Savior. It is something that I do everyday and not just the days leading up to Easter. Jesus came so that we don’t have to live under the Laws of the Old Testament. He came so we can be free and live a delicious, amazing, crazy happy life!
If Lent is your thing, that’s awesome, more power to you! Just do it knowing Jesus loves you no matter what you give up in his name or don’t.