Today is the first Sunday in Lent, so you may be wondering what is with a blog title like “Yippee!”?
Lent is misunderstood. There is a tendency to look at Lent as a time where the whole point is to be miserable. You run into people who are giving things up for Lent just to give something up. Lent is one of the very few seasons in the church year that lends itself to jokes: “I’m giving up atheism for Lent.”* Lent is immeasurably richer than this. Lent is an opportunity for us to ensure that we are current in our relationship with God and all our other relationships.
I have been using a Lenten devotional so far this year and this quotation is taken from it:
Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault- finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.
Lent for Everyone by N. T. Wright
This season is better thought of as an annual tune up than as an annual beat down.
Knox Presbyterian Lent is here!
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Lent is here!
I ended up going in slightly different directions with the two congregations (again) but each sermon stands on its own. Let me know what you think in the comments if you are so inclined.
*There is a new internet move to give up making “I’m giving up ______ for Lent” jokes.