In Louisiana, Mardi Gras is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras began as a festival to enjoy the things a person was “giving up” for Lent. During the parades, beads are tossed from the floats to the onlookers.
Okay, let’s talk about what happens after Mardi Gras. The day after Mardi Gras – tomorrow – is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a season of the church that we use to concentrate on the suffering of Christ. People “give up” something, usually a sweet food, a bad habit, etc. for the 40 days, representing Christ “giving up” his life for us.
What is the difference between a crucifix and an empty cross? The empty cross represents Christ’s resurrection. The crucifix represents Christ’s choosing to suffer for us.
Christ didn’t have to die on the cross, He could have saved Himself, but He chose to die for our sins.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember during Lent, and always, of Christ’s suffering for us. Amen.