Chasing Contentment

Friday, January 6

I grew up in rural Arkansas, and I moved to Louisiana when I was in my early 20s, after I graduated from college. My adopted state is heavily Catholic, and there are things about the Catholic faith that have been interwoven into the culture through the years.

Today is Epiphany, the Twelfth Night, and the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. According to tradition, this was the time when the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus.

Before moving here, I had no knowledge of any of these things. One of the things I enjoy about living here is the emphasis on the celebrations of faith.

I love that our Protestant church celebrates not just Christmas but the Advent season. While we do not have activities surrounding Epiphany or the Mardi Gras season in general (though the children do have a float in the local annual Children's Mardi Gras parade, much to the objections of some), we do acknowledge Ash Wednesday and the Lenton season leading up to Easter.

The ceremony and the ritual of some of these observations helps me to focus my faith, and I like that. It's good for me to remember that the big events like Christmas and Easter had lots of preliminaries leading up to them. I'll give something up for Lent (and I'll gripe about it for weeks... last year's chocolate and chips fast gave way to my Hot Tamales obsession), and that desire for something I swore I wouldn't have will remind me of how much more Christ gave up for me. And sometimes, reminders are good things.

Sometimes, they're just fun things... like the king cake we'll enjoy this weekend. Yum. And many times, they're valuable teaching experiences for us and Griffin. We try really hard to use these times as ways to show Griff our Lord in ways that he can understand.

And so, this week, we've talked some about Epiphany, and we'll enjoy our king cake and talk about the traditions surrounding it, and we'll spend the Lento season talking about the journey Christ took to the cross. And I'll pray that God will use this time and these discussions to touch not only Griff's heart but ours as well.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, January 06, 2006  ]


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