Kingdom Mardi Gras
It’s Mardi Gras, the night before the Lenten season. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, representing the practice of eating rich, fattening foods in preparation for a time of self-denial.
In recent years the practice of lent has attracted new participants seeking perspective in an age of indulgence. Mardi Gras too has surged in popularity since some people will use about anything as an excuse to party.
I understand the rationale for partying in preparation for a period of spiritual focus. I don’t embrace it, but I understand it. And I wonder…
“What are we thinking?”
What are we thinking when we indulge before we deny? Possibly, we believe if we treat ourselves to more than we need it will be easier to live on less than we need. Or perhaps the mere thought of self-denial ramps up our appetites.
I don’t mean to be critical of the basic concept of Mardi Gras, although I certainly have a problem with some forms of overindulgence. If overindulging helps you enter into a time of spiritual focus, more power to you. I suppose it all balances out.
However, the thought process of Mardi Gras can be problematic. Some assume a season offered to God entitles one to a night of rebellion. I am not talking about an extra piece of key-lime pie or a loaded buffet, but rather purposeful sinning.
I am not a legalistic, narrow-minded prude. At least I don’t think so. Yet, I am heartbroken when Christian people view sin as a “right” because they have been living with an extraordinary load of stress. Blowing off steam is one thing. Willfully sinning is another.
Imagine John the Baptist telling Herod he would lighten up on his chatter about his adulterous affair if he was able to attend his party and watch Salome dance. What if Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had gorged themselves with the king’s meat the day after they were found to be healthier for rejecting the same? The list goes on, including Jesus’ obedience to His mission through his death on Calvary.
Not only do we not have a right to sin, but the belief sinning will help us not sin is flawed. It is a fabrication with no biblical proof. In fact, the opposite is true.
Please realize, I am talking about sin, not every form of pleasure. If you have been working hard, reward yourself. When the world presses against you, take a break. I love a good party!
Just don’t think you have to make up for lost ground by sinning.
I have never actually celebrated Mardi Gras. Ok, I think I was in a restaurant once when there was a party going on. I see no problem with the celebration, but only the idea something gives us an excuse to sin.
If you are giving something up for lent, I hope you find the focus and blessing you are searching for. And as of the time of my writing, you still have an hour and thirty minutes to grab a piece of key-lime pie.
I think I will.