The news reporter on the evening news made a thought provoking statement that sounded strange to my ears. I perked up a bit as I listened more closely to the news item. I’ve been thinking about it all day today. Here’s the line. Give it some thought along with me.
“Tonight is the last night of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. So we have to live it up all night tonight, because we’re going to have to start our fast for Lent in the morning.”
Really? Is this guy serious? A whole series of questions hit my mind all at once as I pondered that statement about Mardi Gras. I knew the word literally meant “Fat Tuesday.” I knew the event started as a celebration that takes place in the days prior to the Christian calendar’s Wednesday which begins the Lenten season. I knew the purpose of Lent was to prepare our hearts for the Easter season. So, with that in mind, what do I do with all of the questions rolling around in my mind from the news story on Mardi Gras?
1. Is secular culture really taking its cue from the Christian calendar?
2. Does our culture sense a need to party excessively prior to a most sacred time of heart searching leading up to Easter?
3. Does preparation for Lent grant a license for an entire night of wild parades, liquor consumption, partying, and immoral activity that marks this Tuesday evening?
4. Will these same people who live-it-up all night during Mardi Gras also be fasting and preparing their hearts for Lent as the news reporter implied?
5. How do we compartmentalize our lives so completely between a bacchanalian Mardi Gras Tuesday night and a worshipful Lenten Wednesday evening service just 12 hours later?