“Movement in the right direction.”
That phrase, from Pastor Bill Johnson (Bethel Church—Redding, California) grips me. Of course, the response is to ask which is the right direction.
Today is Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Movement in the right direction today is toward a place where serious food consumption takes place. That would include shrimp po boy sandwiches, red beans and rice—perhaps shrimp and andouille or Étouffée, with Mardi Gras King Cake for dessert.
According to Google—
“Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season.”
It feels as if Fat Tuesday is really the last chance to stock up—gorge ourselves—to take in adequate supplies to help us make it through the next few weeks. I’m thinking the “right direction” is getting to the good food and then getting out of town before darkness falls and scrimping and sacrifice begins.
I know what Lent is about. After the past two-plus years and war fog this season, we don’t need to enter another season of darkness. We know the horrors of the Cross, but we celebrate Easter!
I propose we give up for Lent those things that blur or steal whatever moves us toward righteousness—victory for people facing war, poverty, darkness, addictions, bondage, and limitations. Remove—like a sacrifice—all things that limit our prayers, worship, and celebration of God’s presence.
Movement in the right direction—Celebration and declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
©2022 D. Dean Benton