Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lent—Not the Stuff in Your Pockets

No, we don't go to an Orthodox-type church, and we don't use a lectionary, but Lent is a spiritual celebration that I believe can be useful. Unfortunately, I can't give you book, chapter, verse, neither can I do command, example, necessary inference for Lent or any holy-day. I just see a lot of potential in my life for this time. Monica and I looked up some info about Lent last night and we've decided to do it our own way.

Pop culture Lent consists of not having something you really like for forty days. During these 40 days you praise yourself for this abstinence and tell your friends about it. Especially in the Land of Excess, there are 7,352 things we can give up and it won't really matter. We want to do it different. We want to abstain from some things, but also add some spiritual disciplines to our lives. This is a time to look for God's purpose in Christ's death, and subsequently, a time to look at your purpose as a human in light of this death. Lent is a season of confession and repentance—getting back to God.

Monica is brilliant. She came up with the idea of changing several parts of our lives and working on others. As silly as it may sound, we are both going to read The Purpose Driven Life (some of you might be rolling your eyes right now), study certain scriptures together, and dedicate ourselves to praying together everyday. This is a small step for many, but a huge step for us. We are giving up several things in order to help others (Isaiah 58 is our basis for this) during this time.

Orthodox or not, I think this can be an extremely valuable time for Christians to refocus on our spiritual lives. It is not hard to say, "One day we'll start being more spiritual,"? but it is really hard to decide on that day. This is the day for us!

One of today's readings in the Lectionary is Isaiah 58:1-12. Read it only if you want to be challenged.

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