JOel 2:12-18; Ps 51 Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
So what is all the fuss about this season of Lent. I mentioned today at the Prison that Lent wasn't an exercise in will power though it is about training our will. Rather, it is about becoming better lovers, better givers, and more compassionate. As I mentioned this to the brothers in white (inmates), i was told by one of them that we should be that way anyway and all the time.
It is true we should be. But as we know that is not the reality. So we have a time to refocus not as individuals but as a community, not as community in a city or state or country but world wide.
Imagine all of us together re-centering our life on christ. There should certainly be a shift, a tremor felt around the world. A new kind of quaking will occur over the next 40 days.
And how does this grand scheme begin. Here are the opening lines of the the season of Lent, our opening prayer for this journey that unfolds for 40 days.
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Campaign of Christian service…battle against spiritual evils with weapons of self-restraint.
There it is. This is what all the fuss is about. We would foolish not to be attentive to what is at stake.
A campaign of Christian service that is service rooted in making Christ more present in all we do: it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.
Then we are told that we are armed with weapons of self-restraint. The more we conquer evil within pin us the more goodness there is in the world. The more we deny our selfishness the more space we create for Christ to shine forth. The weapons of self-restraint allow us to direct our will by the grace of god to want what eh wants. Imagine if all of us around the world began to want what God wanted, truly and sincerely not perverted as we see on TV with these militant groups killing people, they give love a bad name certainly.
We are reminded that the true enemy is the spirit of evil not our brothers and sisters. Yet, sometimes evil takes up home in our brother and sisters as it does in our own flesh, heart, and mind at times.
The campaign of Christian service must push on.
Let the opening prayer set the tone for these 40 days.