Yesterday the church worshipped on the first Sunday in Lent. I shared an image in my sermon yesterday that, for me anyway, offers us a good way to consider this Lenten time. Last week the people of New Orleans must have had a very wild celebration of Mardi Gras. New Orleans of course always does up Mardi Gras (which means “Fat Tuesday”), over a several day period, but this year’s Mardi Gras must have been even more extreme in its partying, what the hometown Saints recently crowned as Super Bowl champs. Now, I don’t know how wild the party must have gotten, but I do know what happened to that party come Tuesday night at midnight, as the day turned from Tuesday to Wednesday. And not just any Wednesday, but Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent. At midnight that night, the police walk in formation down the streets of the French Quarter, ushering the partiers off the street. In what I read is called “taking back the streets,” the police move the people away from their partying, and right behind the police come the street sweepers, who clean the streets of the beads and the cups and the other elements of the party that was Mardi Gras.