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Monday, March 23, 2015

Menu Plan: Fifth Sunday of Lent - Passion Sunday

Have you ever had a week (or more) when you felt like you were behind before you even started? That's kind of where I am right now. I'm trying to get back on track, and still prepare myself for Holy Week. But, it is spring now, which is the most beautiful time of year here. I love summer, and I love the sun and the abundance of produce and fun things to do in the summer, but it isn't nearly as green and lovely as the spring is. Sometimes I think we might not have thought as highly of this town had we come to visit it in the fall, winter or summer, instead of Rich having his first job interview here in the spring.

We had a lot of chiles and cilantro and things like that to use this week, so a few of our meals are Mexican style. I think I only have one repeat this week, and that is because I had forgotten that we had an event on Saturday night that made it too challenging to make the meal I had planned and still get other preparations done. I always try to follow the Eastern rules for Holy Week, with varying success, so we'll see if we can do it this year. Just as the terminology for the weeks running up to Lent (the Latin names give the numbering for the weeks, which make Lent last as long as Eastern Lent, and not the shorter length that we in the West have now) and the writings of the Early Fathers do, this week is a hint that we, in the West, have loosened things quite a bit. This Sunday used to be called Passion Sunday. It was the final week of Lent. Not because Holy Week wasn't a fasting season, but because it used to be its own fasting season. It was in addition to Lent. Lent was the preparation and discipline. Holy Week was walking the path with Jesus Himself. So, this Sunday was Passion Sunday, to remind us of what was coming, and then there was Palm Sunday which began the week long walk with our Lord, with our Church. Now, Palm Sunday includes Passion Sunday, they've been mashed together, and so a day that begins triumphantly, with processions and celebrations, ends with sorrow and penitence. But it is the penitence and sorrow of Good Friday, which is out of place at the Triumphal Entry.

Rich told me about a conversation he had with a man we know through his wife and our kids and church, and Rich through some work relationships, and how they have each sojourned on their walks of faith to get to this point of small obedience. Rich said how he never would have thought that he'd come to a point of fasting from meat each year for seven weeks, except for Sundays, especially given his religious background, but how it has matured and disciplined him. This other fellow talked about where he was as a child, growing up as a C & E Christian who was taught to think highly of the church, but not really spending much time there. It was marriage and children that changed it for him, and for us, too. There is something about having a family that makes you reevaluate what you believe and why and how you should live that. We are not even close to perfect there. I don't even know that we are all that good at it, to be honest. But it is something that is on the radar now in a way that it didn't used to be. I read something about how Lent, with its 40 plus days, is a tithe of our year. Not something we give up to God because we owe it, but something that belongs to God already, that we simply acknowledge.

Also, from the imperfection files, I was off by a day on the readings I posted last week. So, Saturday should have been: Numbers 11:1-14:10, Psalm 44, Proverbs 9:7–11, Mark 1:1–20, if you want to catch up. I'm not sure how I got off on that, and I need to see if the week before was off, too.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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