Tuesday, February 23, 2010

About Lent

2-23-10 rambling brain
Traditional Lent has been thought as a time to repent and prepare for Easter. Often something is “given up” for Lent, like meat or chocolate. My church seems to not focus on giving up, but rather “adding to” during this time of preparation. Adding more prayer, being more focused on God in our lives…. Doing for others.

I’ve decide my Lenten preparation will revolve around Being in the world, but not of the world.

This is a tall order spoken of in the Bible, and encouraged and practiced by many of the world religions.

I believe this basically means not to worry about present day conditions of the world and to not worry about who is in power. After all Jesus, came at a time of Roman rule, and he did not say.... take up arms and fight the government. Instead, he teaches us to look for our security and happiness in the "Kingdom of God".

So I believe I will need to find some moderation when reading the news daily and listening to every doom and gloom commentary out there…. I don’t want to be ignorant of world events…. Yet, I don’t want to get caught up in the worry of it all. There has to be a balance, and my focus needs to be relying on God’s love, grace and peace.

I don’t understand when the Tea Party people want fewer taxes and less government intrusion on our lives, yet they are the ones who want to control personal choices such as marriage and child bearing.

Often they speak of “going back to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers” (and than can't even name who they are)…. Assuming that these beliefs were all Christian based…. Well how about the practice of slavery, women were voiceless and powerless, and native American’s were killed or discarded all in the name of progress and profits. That doesn’t sound like the Christianity I know.

I’ve been reading a book by Jim Wallis called “Rediscovering Values, on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street” . I can recommend this book.

Wallis warns us that we can’t go back to normal, since normal is what got us into the economic crisis in the first place. People worship the free market and this has become our nation’s False Idol.

He writes about how caring for the poor is not just a moral duty, but critical for the common good… it makes economic sense. I wonder why “common good” scares people into thinking “socialism”…. Like it’s evil?... Jesus talks about helping all people, and teaches about the principle of abundance, of having enough if we all share.

It’s so easy to be confused and broken when I separate myself from kindness, love, and forgiveness: the basic elements in the "Kingdom of God". Lent is a time to focus my attention back to these.

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