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I originally posted this article a couple years ago and unlike most things I wrote from years ago, this is actually still pretty funny and on-point. As Lent nears, and as I prepare to give a sermon on Lent this Sunday, my coffee consumption is at an all-time high! (Seriously, my heart was pounding in my chest this morning!!) So my question to you, oh reader is, do I need to give up caffeine again for Lent this year???? (Please avoid quoting Scripture at me about how people aren’t supposed to know what I’m fasting from–trying to have a little fun here friends–any Scripture about how God made coffee and it’s extremely delicious are welcomed though)
On a day when two people have already told me it’s 99 cent day at Biggby (and it’s only 9:30am), I am reminded once more that I’ve given up caffeine for Lent. This brings up two topics I find interesting: Lent and caffeine. First, Lent.
I grew up Baptist and had no clue what Lent was. I remember at my public high school asking my Catholic friends why they could only eat fish for lunch (or is it only fish on Fridays? I don’t remember…), and I remember them telling me it was because they are Catholic. No mention of Jesus; no mention of why. I’m not saying this is the reaction of all Catholics, but for that period of my life, these were the only Catholics I conversed with. So to me, Lent was something religious that Catholics did and I was glad I didn’t have to do it, because I didn’t even like fish very much. Except fish sticks. Those have always been good.
I observed Lent for the first time last year when I gave up dessert. I realized that the point of Lent is the same as that of other types of fasting, and that is to focus our attention on Christ’s sacrifice for us, and when we sacrifice something (food, dessert, coffee, etc.), it is a physical reminder for us to think about Christ. I often forget about Christ throughout my daily routine, and while a large part of me does not enjoy fasting (and I don’t do it very often), when I do do it, it is helpful in drawing my attention to God. What is unique about Lent is it specifically draws our attention to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the Lenten season builds up to Good Friday and eventually Easter, the ultimate celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. So there you go: I like Lent. I think people should observe it because they want to and not because they have to. And no, my Baptist friends, the Bible does not say we need to observe Lent and no one is saying it does. Breathe. It’s just a helpful thing to do.
So why was I dumb enough to give up caffeine this year for Lent? Continue Reading…