The best thing since…

Being of Presbyterian stock, I’ve found various bits of piskyism a bit of a novelty since settling in St Silas. Liturgy. Taking communion more than four times a year. Having leaders who aren’t replaced annually.

And Lent: the period in the run-up to Easter in which Christians spend forty days without something, in remembrance of Jesus’s forty days of fasting in the desert. Beyond that, all I know about it is that it’s celebrated by Christians who wave incense and like to deprive themselves of something fun for six weeks. Unlike Presbyterians, who deprive themselves of fun all year round.

So as the church moves towards Lent, I’ve decided to strip off my blinkers and find out what all the fuss is about, by observing Lent for the first time.

I’d thought about alcohol – I gave it up for the month of November just for the sake of the personal challenge, and found it quite easy to do (apart from homegroup one week when I got a bottle of whisky wafted under my nose).

Then I mentioned the idea to fellow St Silasite Gill, who said that she tried giving it up for Lent once, but found it hard – despite being only an occasional drinker, she suddenly found alcohol to be “the best thing since sliced bread” once she had to go without it.

And then I realised what I should give up.

Sliced bread.

After all, it’s the best thing since… well, bread. And we all know how important bread is in Christianity.

Now… when does Lent start again?

5 thoughts on “The best thing since…

  1. There’s giving up something to remember the suffering of Jesus, and there’s being the master of your domain. That’s a lot to ask, Niall, even for a good Christian boy like Simon.

    And giving up sliced bread will be the easiest thing ever once you have tasted the difference in an un-sliced loaf. The texture and flavour are miles better. “The best thing since sliced bread” is a pretty low bar for me.

    If you want to really throw yourself into it, why not give up lunch and snacking during the day? Have breakfast and an evening meal, but fast in between? That’s proper empathy with JC, and it might also give you an insight into Ramadan…

  2. If we want to be technical, giving up sliced bread would be OK so long as you partook in communion only on Sundays. Sundays are feast days and, as such, do not fall prey to the giving up of your sacrifice (The 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays–count it on the calendar yourself!). At least, that’s my understanding.

    I think Dr. Atkins would be well-pleased with your commitment to sacrifice bread, but not necessarily for religous reasons. But that doesn’t matter much, anyhow – he’s dead…can’t be pleased with much now, can he?

    Being Presbyterian and denying myself all year-round, I won’t be giving up anything. In fact, maybe I should take up a vice so that I’d understand what it would be to give one up! šŸ™‚

    Anyway, my church in California usually runs this program during Lent wherein they ask the congregation to fast a meal a week and save the money that would have been spent for that meal and, at the end of Lent, submit it to the church and then the church then gives it to a ministry which provides food to the impoverished. Just an idea if you’re looking for something to do…

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