Give Up Something Bad for Lent

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.” - Psalm 51:1:a

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is the official beginning of Lent - making today Mardi Gras - the last day to indulge and revel in all of the things that you’re supposed to give up during Lent! So, eat a 20 ounce steak, a gallon of ice cream, and a pound of chocolate, washing it all down with a pitcher of your favorite adult beverage. Then go frolic down Pike Street in your craziest costume.

Well, maybe not.

This year, instead of giving up red meat, sweets, chocolate, alcohol or any of your favorite delicacies, we’re encouraging everyone to give up something bad, something that is causing us and our community, tremendous harm!

It fits very nicely into what Lent is really all about. While denial and fasting is a way to experience the same deprivation that Jesus endured, and is certainly a component of Lent, I don’t think it’s the most significant.

What’s great about Lent is it gives us the excuse, to “kick something to the curb” that we’ll be better off without - something that just may have been hurting us, our relationships and our community more than we ever realized!

The Anglican Book of Common Prayer explains that Lent “was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.”

We will, as a community, gather on Wednesday night to begin this season, considering the bad things we can give up, that are causing harm and separation within and without our community. It will prepare us for the healing, wholeness and reconciliation that Jesus offers through his resurrection at Easter.

This Lent, go ahead and give up something bad! Turn around and experience the grace of God and the love of this community of Faith! Kick it off with a soup supper and then a service with communion and ashes - a tangible mark of Christ’s sacrifice on our forehead! In this way, you will continue to grow in Christ!

Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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