|What Twitters gave up for Lent in 2011|
Maybe nothing. But then I wonder.
The Bible speaks against lent, in the lending and charging usury sense: “You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent.” (Deuteronomy 23:19) But Jesus says to be generous about lending: “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).
Although technically that’s not what is meant in our church use of the word lent, maybe it ought to be. After all, Hannah lent her son to God: “For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28) And since our season of Lent in the church is about Jesus, I wonder if we aren’t missing the boat if we don’t consider that God lent us his son for 33 years.
For that matter, it seems that Lent is actually about considering how everything we have and everything we are is lent to us by God. “At the beginning of Lent, we are reminded that our possessions, our rulers, our empires, our projects, our families and even our lives do not last forever. “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). The liturgies throughout Lent try to pry loose our fingers, one by one, from presumed securities…” (Companion to the Book of Common Worship).
Even our very lives are lent to us, just like Hannah lent her son.
Lent with no strings attached, however. How curious that the Hebrew word that is lent in Deuteronomy 23:19 means to lend with usury, but also the bite of a snake. So lending with interest, with strings attached, leaves us vulnerable to attack? But the word for lent in 1 Samuel 1:28 is another thing entirely. It means to ask. Jesus says to give to everyone who asks. Hannah asked for a son and that’s what she got, so she lent (asked) him back to God.
Ok, now you’re confused and so am I.
Lent sounds a lot like leant which is, for the British, the past tense of lean. Proverbs tells us to lean not on our own understanding, but instead to lean on God. (Proverbs 3:5-6) And if we’re to be learning to “pry loose our fingers” from the things we rely on other than God, we are, in a sense learning to live lean. No wonder lent is, in many traditions, a season of fasting.
And so it seems that all these disparate meanings work together after all.
Coincidence? I think not.
The Curious Collection of Lent Googling (otherwise known as references)
“You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent.” (Deuteronomy 23:19)
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
Nashak A primitive root; to strike with a sting (as a serpent); figuratively, to oppress with interest on a loan -- bite, lend upon usury. (Strong’s Concordance)
Lent - a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ
Origin: Middle English lente springtime, Lent, from Old English lencten; akin to Old High German lenzin spring First Known Use: 13th century (Miriam Webster)
Lent - In the Christian church, a period of penitential preparation for Easter, observed since apostolic times. Western churches once provided for a 40-day fast (excluding Sundays), in imitation of Jesus' fasting in the wilderness; one meal a day was allowed in the evening, and meat, fish, eggs, and butter were forbidden. These rules have gradually been relaxed, and only Ash Wednesday—the first day of Lent in Western Christianity, when the penitent traditionally have their foreheads marked with ashes—and Good Friday are now kept as Lenten fast days. Rules of fasting are stricter in the Eastern churches. (Concise Encyclopedia)
Lent – the past tense of lend. (Dictionary.com)
Lend - to give to another for temporary use with the understanding that it or a like thing will be returned lend you my copy of the textbook until the weekend>
lend me five dollars?> (Miriam Webster)
Leant – chiefly British past tense of lean
Etymology - In Latin the term quadragesima (translation of the original Greek Τεσσαρακοστή, Tessarakostē, the "fortieth" day before Easter) is used. This nomenclature is preserved in Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages (for example, Spanish cuaresma, Portuguese quaresma, French carême, Italian quaresima, Romanian păresimi, Croatian korizma, Irish Carghas, and Welsh C(a)rawys).
In most Slavic languages the common name is simply a phrase meaning "fasting time" (as Czech postní doba) or "great fast" (as Russian великий пост vyeliki post). In Tagalog, the name retains from its Spanish wording Cuaresma while the local wording uses "Mahal na Araw" or "Beloved Days".
In the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the vernacular instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted. This word initially simply meant spring (as in the German language Lenz and Dutch lente) and derives from the Germanic root for long because in the spring the days visibly lengthen. (Wikipedia)
The Paschal mystery = An excerpt from the Companion to the Book of Common Worship (Geneva Press, 2003 110-111)
What Twitterers are giving up for lent : http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/february/what-people-gave-up-for-lent-2013-according-to-twitter.html