The Mood
Why Lent?

Why Lent?

A Metaphor For The Curious

For many, Lent makes no sense. The 40 days of fasting, the self-denial, the giving up of stuff we love.

“How could anyone give up chocolate? or beer? or (fill in the blank)… That’s crazy!” are words some of my heathen friends say (just kidding about the heathen part, haha.)

Aside from the self-discipline that fasting brings, there’s something deeper going on…

Sure, Lent is a way of following in the steps of the Nazarene who spent 40 days fasting in the desert before beginning His ministry. It’s a way of showing we are stronger than our temptations, like how Jesus resisted the power and riches offered to him by the Great Tempter.

But there’s a simple metaphor to explain what Lent actually “does.”

The Metaphor

Imagine a cup filled to the brim. The cup is like our minds, filled with desires, fears, expectations and the barrage of information pouring through our senses everyday through our devices.

Now, think of Lent as emptying the cup.

Why would we want an empty cup?

So we can allow the cup to be refilled with better stuff … like grace, compassion, the love of God.

If your cup is already overflowing with all the world throws at it, there’s no room for reflection, guidance or inspiration.

Lent is that time to empty all that doesn’t serve us, to allow emptiness, stillness, silence and to meditate upon our divine purpose.

When we empty our cups of the chaotic blend the world serves up daily, we can allow it to be refilled with grace, patience, humility.

Lent is the annual emptying of the cup. Reconciliation is like cleaning the cup. And Communion is refilling it with grace.