Lent is a distasteful religious observance that applies to non-taste fasting limited to no more one main meal a day, with the two smaller meals not to exceed the main meal. Note the bit of wiggle room, that by merely increasing the size of the main meal, the other two meals can be significantly larger. So much for “Figures do not lie but liars figure.” There are always those who game any system, and sad to say, this pundit has taken advantage of that technicality. Fasting emulated by Lent was invented by God as the First Weight Watcher in history, way ahead of current times some thousands of years later.
The Bible covers everything, from the ridiculous to the sublime; tragedy to joy; feast to famine; hope to despair; despair to jubilation; defeat to victory; slavery to freedom; ignorance to knowledge; simple to sophisticated; temporary to eternal; ad infinitum. According to the Bible in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
An important Biblical admonition from the Old Testament: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” History repeats and the U.S. is once again a rebellious people against God and His counsel, not having learned from history, a common human malady.
Obesity is another topic of the day, and that agenda driven by Michelle Obama to eat healthy foods and eat a balanced diet is having some degree of success, especially with the very young that exhibit less of a tendency for obesity than was the case ten years ago.
BUT, there is always a BUT, there is another aspect to the agenda, and that is that God dictated fasting first, as recorded in the oldest historical document in the World, the Bible, and the people in general were not obese. God poured His graces upon those fasting, though there were always those who made a show of it, unkempt hair, ashes, and other obvious signs of fasting that were pretentious and of no spiritual value, but kept to extremes by Pharisees, Jewish religious leaders. Fasting during special periods, especially times of repentance generally led to victory of one sort or another.
Lent officially began on Ash Wednesday and involves preparation of Christian believers to remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ through prayer, fasting, repentance, penance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes from burnt palms on the forehead as a reminder of mortality, and a sign of repentance.
The opposite is represented by Mardi Gras Carnival Season celebrated in New Orleans as a week-long celebration of debauchery gluttony, and promiscuity prior to Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is celebrated in churches and chapels with ashes place on the forehead by the thumb of the pastor who recites words from Genesis 3:19; “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,” marking the beginning of the austere Lenten season that culminates in Crucifixion of Jesus the Christ on Good Friday, followed by His Resurrection on the Third Day, Easter Sunday.
Lent is good for the body and restorative for the soul, a real miracle drug and eternal life insurance at no cost. An important significance is attached to the words of Genesis in that though there were no science or scientists at the time, the composition and decomposition of the body back to dust from which it came was forever carved in stone.
The bottom line of the death of Jesus is a tragic but wonderful reality, “Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” As terrible as that was on the surface, it was the way of God to sacrifice His Son in satisfaction for the sin of all to save all. Jesus’ death was followed by the Resurrection that destroyed the pangs of death forever, giving hope for our own resurrection on the last day.
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