W is for . . .

WEAKNESS

I especially think about weakness during Lent. Throughout Lent, in the time of preparation (and sacrifice and penitence) before Easter, I want to do battle with my weaknesses.

I am petty and overly reflective. I judge people too often based on my expectations. I bemoan aging. I curse the young. I grin on the outside while inside I’m grimacing. Darn it all, I’m human. Lent tries to help me remember that blatant fact. I am human. Weak. Frail. Mortal. When I am inhuman, I forget all about my weaknesses. Please God, remind me I’m a ninety-pound wimp. Kick holy sand in my face. Let me smile truthfully, as much as I can, and imagine only the best for the fellow weak humans I struggle for and with.

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You Fit The Description

Jesus talks to women . . . touches lepers . . . invites children forward . . . makes a Samaritan the hero . . . and an older brother a chump.

While a kid in Sunday school, then scheming to become Roy Rogers or Dan’l Boone, I learned about Jesus’ “unless you become like a child, you won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” I didn’t have a clue about Heaven’s Kingdom, but I thought it swell others should be like me. Of course we’d bellow out, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so . . .

Much later, though never achieving my Roy-ness or Dan’l-ness, I learned almost everything Jesus did was radical (even inviting kids onto his lap), contrary to the expectations of his society. And yet, as a faithful adult, I often take the radical nature of Jesus for granted. Ho-hum, he touched a leper; such a sweet tale about that nice Samaritan; chatted up a woman at the well . . . pleasant way to pass the afternoon, eh?

The 3rd Sunday of Lent – for March 27, 2011

Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” (John 4:28-29)

A Samaritan woman came to draw water. What an innocent sentence. What a mundane event (John 4:5-42).

Not. At. All.

In Jesus’ time, a man conversing with a woman not his wife, nor in the extended family, was at least unsettling and possibly dangerous. And she wasn’t merely a woman. A Samaritan, she would’ve been despised, avoided because good Jews shunned her and her ilk. However, Jesus talked with her. Radical! Continue reading →

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L is for . . .

LENT

  1. Lent: From the Latin lencten, meaning spring.
  2. Lent: a misspelling of what you realize has dropped out of your navel and is now piling up under the bed.
  3. Lent: a time of navel-gazing in anticipation of Easter.
  4. Sure, all of those.

At an Ash Wednesday service I once attended, the priest said he thought of Lent as “my Christmas.” I understand. We celebrate Christmas with Santa circling chimneys that are designed to filter particles (maybe including Santa) and listen to recorded carols while retailers trick and rarely treat us. We barely survive December each year.

Lent, an artificially created season to prepare for Easter, ranks high on my list of essential celebrations. And in preparing—waiting, reflecting, sacrificing—for Easter, I don’t want to rush ahead. As for me, I want the time to gaze at my “lenty” navel. And much more. I want the 40 days to remember all of what makes me “me,” and place before God my longing to grow closer to the Creator’s way of life.

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