Dear All of Us,
So just how hot to trot are you when it comes to Lent?
Let's be honest here.
I mean, come on already!
sermons on sin every Sunday,
ponying up alms for the poor,
fish on Fridays,
Stations of the Cross,
giving up candy, TV, wine or sex
(ok!!, ok!! - I'll put you down for candy).
A lot of folks see Lent as something of a spiritual boot camp
and would rather just not enlist.
On a preference scale of Christian seasons and experiences
Lent places dead last.
Definitely not a fun thing!
How about this?
What do you say we have a go
at seeing Lent in a new, a renewing way -
seeing it again for the first time?
Something like this.
Lent is similar to Spring Cleaning -
may not be a barrel of fun,
but does it ever spruce things up,
freshens and clears for
a new season of zesty living - a
Lent begins in the dark chill of winter
and warms to Spring brightness.
In Lent we deal with the "darkeners" of our living,
the decadent, the dreadful, the dirty.
We let them be swept away.
We open wide the windows of self
and inflows a bright, cleansing, invigorating new atmosphere.
Things sure do Lighten/Brighten Up.
Lent starts with a symbol of death and decay
and concludes with a symbol of fresh new life -
ashes to lilies,
Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday,
death to unending resurrection.
Lent has a timeline of forty days and forty nights.
As a matter of fact the name Lent
comes from the root of length (lent-gth).
As the daylight lengthens our living lightens up.
Lent's timeline of forty days and forty nights
tells of the time it takes to get it right -
sometimes a long time.
The chosen people sure took a lot of time to get it right
and get to a right good place,
to a land flowing with milk and honey.
The "chosen" chose badly lots of lots.
They got nowhere fast for forty years
with a ton of frustrating desert dead ends.
I can relate!!
How about you?
Lent's timeline of forty days and nights
tells of the time it takes to prove out positive.
Jesus was out in a difficult desert
for forty days and nights.
He was tempted not to be who he is,
to trade his promise for a pot of porridge.
He wrestled with the three lures to limit -
the prevention of
pleasure, power, possessions.
I can relate!
How about you?
We begin Lent with something very much on our minds, literally.
A black cross smudged across our foreheads.
We're marked men and women.
We go public admitting death and decay in us and among us,
signaling failed life as individuals and as a society.
Not nice, but true.
I can relate.
How about you?
We're reminded that we come from dirt and that's where we'll end up.
These earth years are just that - earthy.
"Remember you are dust and unto dust you will return."
The question is what are we doing with our earthiness.
We're invited not to let things end there.
"Repent, and believe the good news."
Reject a dead end by believing the good news.
And believing is not a matter of notional assent.
Believing is a living acceptance of God offered life.
Believing is to "be - life - ing" in Christ:
"For as in Adam -
("Adam" in Hebrew means "dirt") -
all have died,
so also in Christ all will be made alive."
I Corinthians 15: 22
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live,
but it is Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God
who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:19 -20
I sure want to relate.
How about you?
Hopefully we all can see Lent in a new, refreshing way.
Hopefully we all will admit the dark and embrace the light.
Hopefully we all will "Repent and "be- life" the good news.
I haven't forgotten.
You're definitely down for candy!!!
May this Lent
a season of freeing and renewing, a
SOME LENTEN MEDITATION STARTERS
In a time and place of calm quiet we select a scripture and consider:
- what is the revelation here
- what does it say in itself
- what does it say to my living
- what does it say to our shared living as a people
" For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has set you free from the law of sin and death."
" And the testimony is this,
that God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son."
I John 5:11
" So then as through one transgression
there resulted condemnation to all men,
even so through one act of righteousness
there resulted justification of life to all men."
Could it be that the transgression
represented by Adam and Eve
is a symbol/type of all error and sin?
" In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men."
" So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
everything old has passed away;
everything has become new."
II Corinthians 5: 17
" For sin will have no domination over you,
since you are not under law but under grace."
" See, I am making all things new."
Revelation 21: 5
This past week we had a large number of new folks join in with us.
We are blessed and we welcome you!
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SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!