Happy Fat Monday!
Did you know it’s Lundi Gras — Fat Monday? Ok, unless you’re from New Orleans, you might not know about Lundi Gras. So, how about Mardi Gras? Ever heard of Fat Tuesday?
In New Orleans, you get a real sense of the season of feasting — the time between Epiphany, on January 6, and Ash Wednesday — before the season of fasting, in Lent. At our house, we are expecting our King Cake today (thanks Momma!!). And we’re planning to have pancakes for dinner on Tuesday, too.
This year as I consider the Christian calendar, where the rhythm of our lives is set by events in the life of Jesus, I realize that I usually spend more time fasting than feasting. Ok, ok. If that was actually true I would be able to fit in ALL my jeans. What I really mean is that I spend too much time emotionally sitting in the ashes of the fast. When I do that, I am missing the beauty of the feast. There is a purpose to the rhythm of the fast and feast.
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.”
Mark 2:18-20, ESV
As we memorialize the gospel story through the Christian Calendar, we follow a fasting/feasting pattern that marks times of preparation and celebration in the life of Jesus.
Come Wednesday, we face the fast of Lent.
But with Super Bowl, Lundi Gras, and Mardi Gras falling like this…it makes me think more about feasts. God prescribed feast days for the children of Israel, to demonstrate His generous provision for them and to foreshadow His ultimate provision for us, in Jesus. But when I say feast…don’t think about Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras! Looking back, Israel’s feasts were not the kind of drunken orgies that pagans enjoyed, but were celebrated to glorify the Lord.
Christians, are we people of HOPE? Do we live like we have something to celebrate? Do we enjoy the gifts that God has given us?
We’re get to feast a few more days till Ash Wednesday, and if you’d like to celebrate with us, go ahead and watch this big FAT video from me and Amy!