Thursday, February 26, 2015

Good Lent. . .

Okay it is a good week into Lent. . . How is your Lent going?  I draw your attention to an article by George Wiegel in First Things about the journey part of keeping Lent.  I would also remind you of the article I penned for the great Seminary publication, For the Life of the World, on keeping a "good" Lent.

In addition to what we omit, Lent is also distinguished by what we add.  With those words I tried to draw attention to the fact that Lent is not merely about self-denial, about the giving up of favorite activities or foods.  It is about the addition of a focus and perspective.  We refocus ourselves and the worship of Sunday morning (and Wednesday evening) to the cross.  We refocus ourselves and our lives around the call to repentance -- the daily repentance in which the Holy Spirit works in us to meet our Lord at the foot of the cross, to leave behind there the sins, guilt, shame, and despair for which He died, and to rise up the creatures of His making in baptism.  We refocus ourselves toward the goal of our earthly lives and the outcome of our faith, the resurrection and eternal life to which all things in this present moment point.  We refocus ourselves on the good works that contribute nothing at all to our salvation but demonstrate the Spirit's life within us and mark us as God's own in the world.  We refocus ourselves on the Gospel -- that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinners, suffer and die upon the cross, and on the third day rise again and that the forgiveness of sins be preached in His name from this place and time for all times and to the ends of the earth.

So at the risk of being misunderstood, let me say it again.  Good Lent.

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