2019 Lenten Discipline: The Law and the Prophets
Did you know that the word "Lent" refers to spring? It comes from Old English. Of course, as often happens, the church took a secular word and brought it into churchy use for the season of Lent, the 40 days (not including Sundays!) that come before Easter.
I struggle with Lent sometimes. I was born half-Catholic, half-Lutheran, at least 10 percent neurotic -- and I always wonder if I ought to give something up for Lent. In the past I've given up chocolate, swearing, and even alcohol -- but to be honest, it was usually a self-serving practice. When I was pregnant with both of my sons, I conveniently "gave up drinking for Lent," because I wasn't yet ready to tell people about my pregnancies.
I know some people who are giving up shopping, some people who are giving up Netflix, some people who are giving up plastic (actually, that's a good one). And I have this piece inside of me that yearns for a deeper life, a deeper spirituality during Lent -- a morning that begins with meditation and Bible reading instead of my 3-year-old shouting in my ear: "Get up, mom! I want breakfast!"
Did I mention I am not a morning person?
Anyway, all that to say - today is Ash Wednesday. Tonight I'll be preaching at Easter-by-the-Lake, and I'll have the opportunity once again to administer that ashy cross on peoples' foreheads, saying to them the words that scared me as a little girl: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Here's an excerpt from the piece: