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Lent 3.3

If you know me at all, you know I coudn't get very far into this season of Lent without sharing something by Walter Brueggemann.  He has a new book out, A Way Other Than Our Own, that is a Lenten devotional.  The reading for today says this:

Lent is a time when we ask about the meaning of repentance.  Lent could be a time not when we think about all the sin and suffering and self-denial that have been traditional with us, but when we ask in fresh ways what the people clustered around Jesus make of the world they are in.  I put the question this way: Jesus affirmed that it is possible to be in the world in a new way, to be present to the people and problems around us with some newness and freshness.  

The usual way of being in the world is anxiety, of being pressed and harried and worried, and that in turn leads to a stance of defensiveness and fear and a determination to keep what we have...Characteristically, Jesus asks a question which doesn't require an answer because it's so obvious.  It is a question which just stops all our protests and explanations short.  You know it well: Which of you, by being anxious, has ever added an inch to your lives?

I find that a biting, embarrassing question, because of course, it is true.  Being defensive and frightened and coveting has never really resulted in any gains.  Partly we do it because we don't know any better way and partly because it's habit.  In either case, he suggests another way:
                                      Seek the kingdom and his righteousness.
Put another way:
                                     Get your mind off yourself long enough to care; be so concerned with the well-being of the human community that you don't have to worry about your place, your church, your class, your values, your vested interests.

...The invitation is to get so involved in the emergence of humanness, human persons in all their delicacy, human institutions in all their effectiveness, human relationships in all their mystery, humanness, wholeness, that we don't have to be defending how it was, worried about what will happen to the things to which we have given our lives.

May it be so this Lent, friends.
Posted by Laurie Weicher at 6:00 AM
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