Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lenten thoughts

Although I expect it to be predictable (isn't that kinda the point of rituals?) every Lenten season is different.  This year, after deciding I don't have enough legitimate "vices" leftover to give up, and I'm DANG sure not giving up teevee during March Madness (grrrrr . . .Pitino!!), I gave up radio instead.  This means no NPR, no classical tunes, no sports scores, nada.  It's been a good thing, one less angry voice screaming through the day, if you know what I mean.

I think I'm used to the surreal never-endingness of this cursed winter.  It's gone on, what, like 9 years now since we had sweater weather?  But today I put in the seeds for early starting with the little kids, so we have a pan of dirt on top of the fridge now, teasing us with dreams of future basil and beefsteak tomatoes. Oh me of little faith, I honestly can't fathom that we will ever see gardening weather again. . .

So into the midst of this gloom and pessimism comes the promise of Messiah, the ancient wish for renewal and salvation.  God we still need saving, 2000 years later, so Somebody please come quick.  

I'm glad we're doing this corporately, 50+ churches in greater Cincy are using the "Reset" curriculum to recharge, explore, explode our concept of who that Jewish carpenter was and what he really came for.  It's a pretty heavy-lifting curriculum that requires real study and commitment, not just sitting in a pew once a week.  Every week we have a small group meeting, suggested readings, and several assigned writing prompts to help us dig deeper.  Plus we're going into large chunks of the gospel of Luke from various angles. The point of this, for me anyway, is to kick me out of the malaise and inertia of thinking  I "know" what Christianity is supposed to be about and remind me once again of who Messiah is.

That guy isn't just the hippie Jesus, the nice guy, the baby in the manger, the American Protestant.  He's world-changing, enigmatic, unpredictable, dangerous, life-giving, life-saving, friend of the poor, enemy of tyrants, Lion, lamb, a brother, a mother, the beginning and the end and (most unsettling of all) the right now.

Where do I even begin?

1 comment:

cdwalker247 said...

I don't think that I could give up the radio. What about CD's and the mp3 player, can you listen to those? Music is sometimes the one thing that helps me to find my sanity in all of the chaos.