Lent begins tomorrow, again

Lent for Western Christians (Roman Catholics and some Protestants) began last Wednesday, February 17, after a pandemic-subdued Mardi Gras. Lent for Eastern Christians (in various Orthodox traditions) will begin this year on March 15th. Why different calendars? I yield to an old Newsweek article. Sometimes I use the Doug Layton method of theology: “Is it in red?” (He was referring to some Bibles that print the words of Jesus in red. He figured if it’s not in red, it’s negotiable.) So, following the LSR (Laytonian School of Religion), and with my general predisposition to compromise, I’ve decided that for me, this year Lent will begin tomorrow–February 24. That’s consistent with my standing rule for when to begin losing weight–tomorrow.

Last year for Lent I gave up Donald Trump. That lasted about as long as my commitment to eat sensibly. Jon Meacham said Lindsey Graham’s quick reversal from his anger toward Trump for the January 6 assault on the Capitol reminded him of when Tom Sawyer said an evangelist came to town who was so good that even Huck Finn was saved until Tuesday. Sometimes our enthusiasm for conversion is brief. I guess that’s why Lent is an annual occurrence and why it lasts several weeks. Recognizing that there’s a bit of Lindsey Graham and Huck Finn in me, I’m ready to begin Lent again. I’m beginning late for the Western version, and by beginning tomorrow, I have a cushion. If I backslide, I can begin again with my Orthodox friends on March 15.

An ecumenical and interfaith worldview comes in handy sometimes. Tomorrow, I’m going to give up not just Donald Trump but politics itself. I plan to study, think and write about two things in the coming weeks: the New Testament and the equity market. With the market showing some confidence that we’re getting traction against the COVID-19 pandemic, with uncertainty about whether an uptick in interest rates is a blip or a trend, and with a big stimulus plan in the hopper for Congressional debate–it could be an interesting spring in the market. Several years ago I began working on a brief, 10-chapter companion to the New Testament. Life changed. Many Lents came and went. I’m going to dust off the manuscript and get back into the NT.

Beginning tomorrow.

From Holy Trinity+Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral

4 thoughts on “Lent begins tomorrow, again”

  1. My very best wishes that your intentions will be able to be fulfilled and that it’s not like pulling teeth to keep at it.


  2. How can I read your thoughts about the market? Bonhoeffer says to grow in faith, imbed in the real world. So that’s what I plan to do….tomorrow.


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