How to Lent and Why

Every year, automatic as a clock, my grandfather would call just after sunup. “He is risen!”

We all knew the drill. If you were on the other end of the line, there was only one acceptable response.

“He is risen indeed!”

It was my family’s singular Easter tradition, unless shopping for a pastel-colored Polo shirt passes for tradition, in which case I participated in two. But aside from the pastel pageantry and the Easter-morning phone call, there were no real practices of reflection, repentance, or reflection leading up to the brightest day of the year. There was no genuine discussion of the Good Friday crucifixion or the black and liminal Saturday before the breaking dawn. Easter was another Sunday, except we hustled to church twenty minutes earlier to beat the Chreasters (Christmas-and-Easter-only attenders) to the pews.

That, and my preacher called it “Resurrection Sunday.”

That, and I ate my weight in Cadbury Creme Eggs.


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