Thomas McKenzie
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Sundays in Lent

There are two ways to count the 40 days of Lent. If you get out a calendar and start with Ash Wednesday and you count every day, you will see that Lent goes through Palm Sunday. So, some people measure Lent as Ash Wednesday through the beginning of Holy Week. In my tradition, however, we do not count Sundays as part of the 40 Days. Therefore, our Lent ends at Easter. And Holy Week is part of Lent.

The Sundays in Lent are a strange animal. On one hand, this is Lent. This is a time of fasting, prayer, and self-denial. This is a time to Stop Something, and a time to Start Something. It is a time to withdraw into the wilderness, as our Lord did for 40 days.

On the other hand, Sundays are the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are a time for feasting, for joy, for lifting up our hearts.

We call the Sundays during this period "Sundays IN Lent" rather than Sundays "OF" Lent. These Sundays are not truly Lenten, though they are more somber. How could they be "of Lent"? As our Lord himself said, "the bridegrooms friends can not fast while he is with them." He is always with us, but how much more so on Sunday? How can we fast when is made known to us through his Word and the breaking of the bread?

So, join me in a feast day. Don't fast today, but rather enjoy fellowship with the Lord and one another. This is not Lent, but rather another small Easter.

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