When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
A long-standing discipline of Lent is prayer. But there’s a little story about the pretzel and Lent you may not be familiar with.
Tradition says there was a monk who was in the kitchen one day during Lent. The monks only ate very simple foods during Lent. There were leftover scraps from making bread. The monk began to work with the scraps and formed what we know today as a pretzel. He baked the little pieces of bread and shared them with the other monks at the monastery to encourage their prayer lives during Lent.
Hold a tiny twist pretzel upside down. When the monks prayer, they crossed their arms in front of them and put their hands towards their shoulders. Try this. Now look at the pretzel. Does the shape look familiar?
There are also three holes in a pretzel. These are to remind us of the Trinity of God, the three persons of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We think of a pretzel as something to dip into mustard or snack on. But originally, pretzels were a way to encourage people to uphold prayer during Lent. Maybe you can use pretzels as an encouragement of your prayer life this Lent.
It’s just a pretzel, but it was formed and created with a specific purpose. May we be reminded of the constant need to pray daily in our lives. May our prayers be lifted up in the name of the Trinity. Lord God, I pray that the hardness of the pretzel will remind us of the hardness of your sacrifice. Amen.
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