Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. Carnival is Latin for Farewell to the Flesh. So today is the big farewell to the flesh day that ends very sharply at midnight as we prepare for the 40 days of Lent.
I'm going to bet the further away from Louisiana you get, the less you know about Mardi Gras. I'm also going to bet if you know when Mardi Gras is and what it means, you might just know why we are celebrating at carnival. We are preparing for Lent.
This year is light years away from last year. With us being out of the church, I'm finding that this season is more personal than it has been in a long time. I'm not saying I've got it all figured out, I'm saying that Jesus is calling me to a different way of being in this season.
It's about waiting, listening, and walking with Jesus as he prepares to go through the passion on his way to the cross. For me, it's about being with Jesus through his suffering. The suffering that he chose to take on for me.
I read a post by JD Walt that was titled Can we please not tell each other what we are giving up for Lent? I have to agree with JD, I really don't want to know what you are giving up, or taking on, for your journey through Lent.
Lent is about prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor. It's about preparing yourself for the walk to the cross with Jesus. To be with Jesus in his suffering. When I really think about Jesus suffering for me, I am overcome with grief. There is a part of me that wants to comfort Jesus, that wants to try and make everything better for him. I can't figure out if it's just me being human or trying to control the situation.
But I will have 40 day's to sit with that and listen. Today is Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday! The Carnival day that allows me to say farewell to the flesh. I probably won't be apart of any real celebration, but knowing that I could be sorta helps.