YAY! 90 minutes ’til Lent!
Have I mentioned how much I love the season of Lent? No, seriously.
Major renewal. Major growth. Major transformation. Hardcore praying. Action through Non-Action. Mindfulness up the wazoo. (What’s not to love?)
Plus, given my personal theology, I can drink caffeine and eat chocolate during Lent, as well as steak on Fridays. Why? Because I’m fairly certain God doesn’t care if I eat meat. And besides that, this whole ‘i’m not worthy thing’ that is the theology of inherent sinfulness of the human nature – otherwise known as doctrine of original sin – is no where mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures that comprise our Old Testament, nor even hinted at anywhere in the Gospels. And Paul can write till his hands fall off, but he contradicts himself from beginning to end and I’m not even going to go there. Original Sin began with Augustine’s repressed rantings four centuries later and I’m not buying it! Yay.
Summary of Sarey’s Theology of Lent: (quoted from her morning sermon given the Last Sunday of Epiphany, 2007)
Now, I know that the chocolate industry takes a hit every time Lent comes around, but I deeply suspect that Lent isn’t about giving up chocolate, or caffeine, or deserts. It’s a tradition, to be sure, to give things up for Lent. But it’s also a tradition to think of ourselves as inherently sinful beings, hence our desire to give something up, a symbolic gesture of our desire to be ever-so-slightly less sinful. But you know, neither one of those are traditions are supported by the Gospels, and neither one of those traditions lead to healthy transformation.
So then, if Lent isn’t about giving something up, if Lent isn’t about a symbolic gesture, then it must be something concrete, something real – something that isn’t symbolic, but actual. To understand what that actual thing is, I suggest we revisit Jesus, and Moses.
They went to the mountain. They had an encounter with God. They were transformed. They acted.
81 minutes ’til Lent.