Combating Ignorance, Two People at a Time

One of the dangers of going to the mall is that you will encounter a lot of people saying really stupid things. The comedian Lewis Black once overheard a conversation at IHOP where the woman in the next booth said, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." Don't think about that statement for very long, or you'll get a raging headache.

Today, I was standing in line in the food court, waiting to order some soda, when a guy and a girl behind me started talking about Lent. Apparently someone had told the girl that Sundays didn't count in Lent, and the girl went on and on about how stupid the person that told her this must have been. Of course Sundays count! They should count more because they're Sundays!

So here's a lesson in Christian tradition - Sundays really aren't counted in Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days that commemorate the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness without food and water. While he was in the wilderness, he was tempted by Satan several times. Lent is a time when Christians try to relive the deprivation and temptation that Jesus experienced. If you get out a calendar and count the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, there are 47 days (Ash Wednesday and Easter inclusive). The original theory is that Monday through Saturday are for deprivation and penitence, and the Sundays in Lent are "Little Easters", when the focus is supposed to be on celebration. So technically, you can have what you gave up for Lent on Sundays.

It seems key to understand a tradition if you participate in it. I know that's a novel concept. Well, now the people behind me in line know more about Lent. The guy gave up soda for Lent, and he celebrated his newfound knowledge by ordering a Coke.

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