I grew up in the Episcopal church. We had a lot of things that Baptists don’t really celebrate. Drinking actual wine during Communion would be one of those things. Calling the Lord’s Supper “Communion” would be another. Oddly enough, I’ve read that there is an increasing trend towards Baptist churches celebrating Advent, the season leading up to Christmas, but there are few that will recognize Lent. Not the stuff in your belly button, folks, the season leading up to Easter. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that any tradition just for the sake of tradition (especially one that was actually invented by man and doesn’t really rest on Scripture) is not on my good list. That’s probably why Baptists don’t really give much thought to this part of the church calendar.
That being said, when one looks at the motives and reasons behind Lent, at face value it is something all Christians can benefit from. (Very) Simply stated it is a time when we can reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and make, in comparison, a small sacrifice to show our love for the Savior. This is why you always hear some folks asking what you’re giving up for Lent. I remember in high school I actually did the traditionally Catholic no red meat thing. That was pretty easy compared to giving up soft drinks one year. I was a disagreeable young lad for those 40 days!
Well, I’m being a bad Baptist (or maybe a good one?) and I’m doing a Lenten sacrifice this year. I’m giving up Facebook and Twitter. If you think it sounds lame, then that’s your call. As for me personally, I have seen many instances since Ash Wednesday five days ago where I have sort of instinctively reached for the smartphone to check either one or both. As a matter of fact, so as not to raise suspicions, I’m not even going to publish any of my postaweek blogs to these social media outlets. I’m going to give the time to reading more Scripture or other edifying books, and in prayer. So far I’ve noticed that I’m actually OK without Facebook. I kind of like Twitter for the fact that I follow many youth leader “gurus” and other Christian tweeps, but they can wait for another 35 days!
Until next week (or before since I have a week off of classes!)