Here’s the interesting thing about discipline and Lent–sometimes you forget, and I did yesterday. I didn’t forget, but forgot to write here. Someone in our parish asked why I am doing this. It’s because of genuine discomfort with electronic media. The discomfort dissipates the more I try and use it. We have several e-whizzes in our congregation, who are so much at home in this medium–or media, I should say. I think it is a disservice to the congregation for me to shy away from learning it. So it’s a penance, not in the sense of feeling “bad” but a genuine attempt to grow in faith and stretch limits of my knowledge.
I just received a note from a friend new to the Lutheran church. She is learning about Lutheran Lent, and was delighted to discover it’s not a time of “giving something up” like chocolate, or goodies or drinking (although those are good things to let go of). She discovered, by visiting the ELCA website that Lent is a time of turning toward God, and serving the neighbor. Here’s what she wrote–I was so excited to read her note:
” I agonized about what I would be giving up for Lent. Thinking of giving up 2 things near & dear to me, Vodka & fried food. I immediately started thinking of ways around giving up potato chips. I would buy Baked Lays chips! I then decided to go to the ELCA website, which I have relied on alot. To my amazement, I read that Lent to Lutherans is not a time of punishment(giving up things near & dear to one), but a time to simplify ones life, helping others, and to me, a time to reflect on one’s spirituality. My immediate response being, “Oh my God! I love this religion!” ”
May your Lent be a time of discovering “I love this religion.” Words dear to a Pastor’s heart.