Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lent

Lent begins Wednesday.  As a lifelong "low-church" Protestant, Lent really has not had a place in my life, but in the last ten years I have started to take it seriously as a time of spiritual preparation.

In fact, I was reading some rants against Lent.  A professor at an evangelical seminary who has become an Anglican (not my cup of tea--bad pun--but I have lots of friends who have done that, I think because of the Englishness and C.S. Lewisness and N.T. Wrightness of it) posted that he was looking forward to Lent.  Some of his "friends" went off on him, about how evil Lent was.

Evil?  Maybe Carnival/Mardi  Gras is, but not Lent.  Lent can be spiritually healthy, as long as it is not a way to build up our pride and flesh.

Lent is not about giving something up.  It is about looking forward to something.

My choice is to fast, as much as possible, from media (TV, movies, and Facebook) and sugary sweets.  The sugary sweets are bad for me, but not as bad as the media.  My husband will ask me to watch some TV with him so  I will, but I won't choose to watch anything of my own.  Why?

Media affects our spiritual longings and thought processes.  Very few media programs are going to enhance our prayer life or walk with Christ or concern for others or relationships. 

Media takes up a lot of time.  We don't even realize it.

Media takes more than it gives.

I have a massive number of projects to pursue at work; papers and presentations coming up, classes to design,  ways to improve my teaching.  

I have a long prayer list.

I have letters to write and books to read.

But I know that giving up something is worthless if it isn't replaced by what really matters.  So that is the challenge of Lent--what you fill your life with as you look forward to the cross and resurrection.


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