The Norman Transcript


February 8, 2013

Got Lent?

NORMAN — Very soon people will celebrate a season of Carnival, culminating in Mardi Gras, from the French meaning Fat Tuesday, on Feb. 12. Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Fat Tuesday refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13. The day also is referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning confess.

Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. The Lenten season falls on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter.

According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of His public ministry. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day (excluding Sundays) liturgical period of prayer and fasting.

Lent has evolved over the years into a time of self-denial of some ordinary habit, such as giving up chocolate or soda.

The original meaning of Lent was “Holy Spring,” Traditionally, Christians prepared themselves for the observance of Christ’s Resurrection. Believers fasted and prayed, seeking God’s guidance regarding those places in their hearts, minds and lives where they fell short of being the image of Christ to the world around them. Their desire was to demonstrate authentic Christianity — to live like Jesus, look like Jesus and love like Jesus. New believers were asked to prepare for the observance of Baptism — a public identification of being authentic, personal followers of and believers in Christ.

Lent, in this original context, becomes a time for a spiritual “spring cleaning,” Lent is a time for new beginnings. As a caterpillar undergoes transforming into a butterfly, we too must transform by God’s power at work in us into a new creation. New beginnings start by leaving the old behind. In our faith journey, this is the truest meaning of repentance. Repentance need not be a negative or shaming thing — a turning from sin — as much as it also is a positive transformation of turning TO something as well.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conference set

    Following a diocesan-sponsored national conference on violence, “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace,” the Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Norman will host an Oklahoma diocesan-wide women’s conference and Bishop’s day on April 25-26....

    April 18, 2014

  • Muslim group urges re-education

    LOS ANGELES — Seeking a way to prevent violence like last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, an Islamic advocacy group Monday announced a plan aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and re-educate radicals....

    April 18, 2014

  • This is ... Friday ...

    It’s Good Friday. Good Friday? What could possibly be “good” about Good Friday? Think about it … this is the day in which the Lord Jesus was beaten and crucified. He hung on a cross between two thieves. Abandoned, betrayed and denied, by ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Why do we always test God?

    ‘Do not put the Lord God to the test,’ Jesus said, but don’t we do this all the time? Human nature The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church UCC: It’s human nature: testing the limits of God’s peaceful creation....

    April 17, 2014

  • Girl told not to say prayer

    OVIEDO, Fla. — The 5-year-old who said she was told not to pray over her lunch visited the school Monday and identified the staffer in a line-up, her family’s lawyer said....

    April 11, 2014

  • CrossPointe chooses Butler as lead pastor

    One of Norman’s largest churches has chosen a new lead pastor for its congregation. Mike Butler, 38, was voted lead pastor by the congregation of CrossPointe Church on March 23. Butler succeeds Glenn Quirk, who served as lead pastor for ...

    April 11, 2014

  • A divine drama

    All of us love drama. We experience drama in many ways. We watch a play on a stage or a show on TV. We have lives filled with drama every day through interactions with other people....

    April 11, 2014

  • What should we think of original sin?

    The Rev. Joe Nassal, Precious Blood Center: Watching the evening news recently, there was one disaster story after another, from the Malaysian airline that disappeared to the mudslide where one minute people are going about their daily ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Lenten lunch set

    The next Norman Ministerial Fellowship Lenten lunch will be Wednesday at NorthHaven Church, 4600 36th Ave. NW. Guest pastor will be the Rev. Joseph Summerville, University Lutheran Church. The sermon theme will be “The Thursday of Holy ...

    April 4, 2014