I forgot all about the sermon I had planned for yesterday until it was one o’clock in the morning, so I had to postpone it until today. SORRY. Today we are going to be discussing Lent. Such fun! In the meantime, since your poor reverend didn’t make it to New Orleans to partake of beignets and Mardi Gras parade festivities, let’s listen to some music evocative of that great city, well not quite in the city, more like the outskirts of New Orleans. Do you know what it is, yet? It’s one of your reverend’s favorite songs! It also details my life plan! Still not sure? It’s “FANCY” by Reba!
Isn’t that just the best? She had a Georgia mansion and a New York townhouse! She dressed in velvet! She knew kings and aristocrats! She was perfection. Of course, Fancy was a fictional character, but she has always been one of my favorite imaginary role models. I look up to Fancy and have taken the advice in her song to heart.
On to the sermon!
One of my very favorite holidays that I’ve never been able to celebrate properly is Mardi Gras. Another one is Día de Muertos, but I’m sure in time I will have attended the festivities. Mardi Gras just sounds great, with parades and beads and jazz and carefree attitudes. Then you eat and eat and eat. Mardi Gras is French for “fat Tuesday,” of course, but I’m sure you knew that. You have to stuff yourself to bursting before you fast for Lent. Or do whatever it is you love in excess before you give it up for the week.
Many people in the Christian faith (who choose to participate) are expected to do three things during the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter. They are to pray more so that they are doing justice to God. They are to fast so that they are doing justice to their bodies. And lastly, they are to give alms to do justice to the needy. These are all noble endeavors, I’m sure, but I don’t understand why so many people limit their good behaviors to forty days out of the year. Why not donate to charity throughout the year? Why not be mindful of your diet at all times? If you’re given to prayer, why should you do it any differently during this time?
I have never understood somebody wanting to give something they love up. It’s nonsense to me. If you love smoking and you don’t care about the cancer and death, puff away! If you love eating chocolate and don’t care about the potential for morbid obesity, gorge away! If you love something, you should partake of it. There’s no reason to make yourself miserable to emulate Jesus!
I am calling for a refusal of Lent. I think the week should be spent giving into every glorious excess you can imagine. Wouldn’t that be a better way to celebrate? I think so. Make Mardi Gras every day!
(On the other hand, I do believe in almsgiving. If I had more money, I would regularly donate to the charities that I have researched…most of them are for lion welfare, but you can donate to anything that you think bears merit. Give to children, to the elderly, to scholarship funds, to anything at all. Almsgiving is one of the few tenants of Christianity that I support!)
Curious about fasting, though, (mainly as a quick way to shed some weight and also because I’m awfully poor at the moment — poverty is looming, send tithes!) I’ve been doing a restricted calorie diet for a few days. Loving the results, but it’s really no fun to do. I’d much rather eat an entire vat of tomato soup, munch on a loaf of bread, eat an entire bar of chocolate, and finish this off with an entire liter of orange juice…but that wouldn’t make me thin. I’m over it. I think you should be over it, too. Never give up something you love, FLOCK, embrace your gluttonous behavior.
Never be ashamed of yourself. Eat. Drink. Do everything you want…within reason, of course…and if not, don’t let anybody know.
Until next week.