Lenten Challenge

Friends-I love Easter. I think that holds true for most of us. We even recognize that those folks who don't attend worship all that often show up for Easter Sunday. It is great to sing those Alleluias! and shout He is risen! I look forward to John Smith and his bell that Presbyterians find so interesting.

Yep, Easter is great! The thing is, Easter isn't a stand alone holiday. The resurrection was not a single event of God's presence in the world. I'm writing this on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the eve of the start of Lent. It's always been my thought that we do a disservice to our faith if we skip the Lenten journey.

My friend Landon Whitsitt is the Synod Executive for the Synod of Mid-America and he also writes a bimonthly blog called Two Good Spies that I recommend. I was reading his blog and found a quote by theologian Richard Rohr-"Resurrection takes care of itself, it's getting to the tomb that's the hard part". This is the challenge of Lent.
 The next forty days are about introspection, conviction, confession, and repentance. There aren't too many people who like engaging in this process, but this is the only way to arrive at Alleluia. Our culture is one of fast food, instant satisfaction, and no wait service, but that is not how faith functions. It would be so much easier to jump right to Easter morning, but that means we neglect essential practices of our faith. Lent takes time as we slowly steep ourselves in the gospel story. This immersion is a practice that we enter into with our brothers and sisters in faith. Together we join with Jesus in his trek to the cross. We are not alone as we address the challenge that is Lent.

Joy comes in the morning, but not until we endure the darkness of night.


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