First Sunday in Lent, February 22, 2015
Mark 2:13-20 (NRSV)
Lenten disciplines often focus on self-denial.
|Christians may often get labeled as|
Debbie Downers for being known more
for what they're against than what they support.
We give up caffeine or sugar.
We give up television or social media.
We might even seek to fast during Lent on Fridays.
It seems easy to point toward the austere as being spiritual. But what about celebration?
Can celebration be spiritual? Can we decide to engage in a Lenten discipline of eating more?
Well, I'm not sure that is much of a discipline for a culture that has too much to eat. Maybe we get this pretty well on our own and so don't need to spiritualize it. We have to remember that people were not overweight in first century Judea.
But I do think that we forget to include God in our celebrations. Maybe this is similar to counting our many blessings.
Jesus seemed to enjoy himself with his followers. Maybe we need to remember that even as we journey with Jesus to the cross, he was not a dour person who tried to suck the fun out of life.
A Celtic Prayer for Joy:
As the hand is made for holding and the eye for seeing,
You have fashioned me for joy.
Share with me the vision that finds that joy everywhere.
In the wild violet’s beauty;
In the lark’s melody;
In the face of a steadfast man;
In a child’s smile;
In a mother’s love;
In the purity of Jesus.
A Maclean, Hebridean Altars, Moray Press, Edinburgh, 1937