The funny thing about Lent is that I’m the most motivated to celebrate it because of an incredible Ramadan I celebrated one year.
I lived in a 99% Muslim country, and many of my friends were Muslim, so though I am a Christian I participated in the fast along with them out of respect.
The purpose of the fasting of Ramadan is to try to court Allah’s favor so that the coming year will be good for you. On one night during Ramadan, it is the night of power, when Allah decides everyone’s fate for the coming year. Of course, you’re not sure which night that is, and you try to be really really good on that night!
The Bible says
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
(Ephesians 2:5-6 ESV)
So we don’t have to struggle and strain to please God, we are freely saved by grace!
So in secret, without offending any of our Muslim friends, in our house we celebrated in a different way.
We feasted on ice cream every single night.
When I bought the 5 gallon tub of ice cream from the store, everyone on the bus asked me if I owned a restaurant! Well I might as well have, because our party and nightly celebration of God’s grace shown to us in Jesus was more fun than owning a restaurant.
When the final days of Ramadan came, we spent the whole day feasting with our friends and partying. They were happy then too (because the fast was over, and it’s happy like Thanksgiving).
Of course when I came back to America, I was different. I noticed that the only reason we celebrate Christmas for a month is because of the sales and that Lent is only celebrated by Catholic people in a surge around Ash Wednesday and then every Friday for those that go to the fish fry. (I need to write about the awesomeness of the Lenten fish fry somewhere else, but not today.)
So here we are, saved by grace, and we have an opportunity to celebrate for weeks (47 days in 2015) before Easter, and I want to take full advantage of it!
And so, the Lent party.
The other thing about Lent, is that it is traditionally a time of preparation for Easter with penance, grieving, etc. You can’t even say Hallelujah during Lent. I don’t have the emotional fortitude for that. I think I’ll err on the side of joy and celebration if I have my choice.
So, celebrate the Lent party with me. Give up being a jerk for Lent, of being discontent with your walk as a Christian. Fast from self-judgment and condemnation!
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
(1 Timothy 6:18-19 ESV)