March 6, 2019
Someone asked me if Lutherans “give up something for Lent.” I answered, “Well, it depends on whether or not you want to become involved with what new thing God gives you in its place.”
If Lent is a time to give up anything, it’s a time to give up the illusion that we’re making it on our own. It’s a time to make time to be in the quiet company of a God who wants nothing more than to help us discover, again, who we are, by showing us where we are:
- what has led us off course
- how close we are to losing our footing
- when we made a wrong turn.
At our 7:00 P.M., worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon, Imposition of Ashes, and Meal, we’ll experience how counter-cultural Lent is. It’s counter-cultural because Lent stands firmly on the claim; this God’s business is down-here, not up-there. Lent is counter-cultural because we’re reminded of God’s activity in days gone by, and by expressing those memories Lent’s practitioners expect God’s nearness and presence to keep on showing up! Lent is counter-cultural because it says the traditions by which we mark our identities and our destinies are reliable. The claims of our faith, “Remember, you are dust…ashes to ashes…” aren’t old-fashioned and outdated. They are ancient truths, still relevant.