Lenten Unwind

February 23, 2010

It’s with a sigh and a shrug of my shoulders that I return to Lent. Not necessarily excited, rather ruefully aware of the growing gap in my peace. I have been working and playing; squeezing in mud fights with my four year old brother, and staying awake till the wee hours trying to be concise and verbose at the same time. All the while my heart has been filling with cacaphony and distraction.

I readily welcome Lent and all that it brings. What’s that on your head? Do you know you have a smudge on your forehead? Did you put out a cigarrete on your head? …is it not amazing that people see the ‘smudge,’ not the cross?

Lent is one of the most powerful, and most counter culture seasons in the Church. Advent, most people can ‘get’….Sure, sure…something about getting ready for the baby Jesus – yeah, put Christ back in Christmas! Ordinary time is…ordinary…Those days between Easter and Advent. Lent is something foreign indeed. Why would a community focus on the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, painful, uncomfortable part of their faith right before the triumph? Why would we prepare for victory by sacrificing and focusing on our sin?

Those in the fold of the Church understand. If we do not humble ourselves, where is our victory? If we are not willing to forego pleasures for forty days, who are we to appeal to a God who lived and died a sacrifice?

This said, Lent is definitely not a time to judge or show distain for our seemingly gluttonous brothers and sisters. Lent is a time for tender sacrifice. Forty days to note the dehabilitating habits picked up over the past year, identify them, and attack them at their root. Lent is a reminder to peer up at the face of God and be solemn, but not despairing. If we ignore this part of our faith, the glory and awe of Easter will pass us by like a weekend sale.

God is inviting us to live with Him for all eternity, if we do not first take up our crosses and walk staunchly towards our destination, who are we to beg for mercy?

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One Response to “Lenten Unwind”

  1. maggie Says:

    you have a really good point. lent just seems like something that has become too routine. but in a sense, it’s kinda silly that we say ” so. its lent. now i have to die to myself and become closer to Christ. great.” that attitude doesn’t seem right.
    you should definitely read “mere christianity” if you havent already.
    please tell me if i am not making sense. i find that sometimes my thought process is illogical.

    did someone actually ask you if you had cigarettes on your forehead?


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