“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Whoever was the first to say “You can’t always have too much of a good thing” probably never ate a box of Good & Plenty. If comedian George Carlin were alive today he might agree that these hard-shell candy covered licorice bites are an oxymoron. Like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence it's easy to see the obvious contradiction. Unless, of course, you think making plenty of trips to the dentist is a good thing.
There’s something to be said about indulging in the plenty of good stuff God provides. Grace is a great example, as is love. Not only are they good for us, but the more we devour the healthier we become. Rarely thought is the season of Lent understood as a delicious blessing. We don’t always recognize that God has asked us to set aside some time to savor God’s goodness, and to chew on the spiritual wisdom.
As you might already know, Lent is a 40-day journey that signifies the time Jesus spent tempted in the wilderness after his baptism. But if you do the math by counting the days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday you’ll discover it’s really 46 days. This is not a minor ‘clerical’ error, or some kind of religious fuzzy math trick. The Church, in fact, is allowing us extra time to celebrate each Sunday as a mini-Easter.
It’s also a day many recognize as Sabbath, the day we take off to worship God in the community of family and friends and to celebrate life’s gifts and goodness - the God given candy treat so to speak. In this time, God invites us (tells us) to take one day a week to set aside your fast in order to enjoy a feast of all the good and plenty things God offers.
Our fast is a time to reflect on God’s grace and love. And our feast is when we share that divine meal with others in the world so they too can become filled with the Spirit of God – the very Spirit that was with Jesus when he began his ministry is the same Spirit Jesus gave to us to continue his ministry.
Paul reminds the churches in Corinth how the Spirit of God gives us all the grace and strength we need to both fast and feast. He writes, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
This, if you ask me, is a Good & Plenty thing.