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.
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?