This week marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. I have only paid attention to what this means for the past few years. I feel a bit like a child in catechism -- each year teaching me a new paragraph -- learning from my ancient Christian family. On its own, the tradition of giving something up for Lent, has some value to becoming a mature adult. The habit of self-denial teaches us, disciplines us, prepares us, even, for inevitable sorrow in this broken world.
This past year, I'm learning the value of Lent as one part of a whole -- the whole cycle of the Church year that teaches feasting as well as fasting, a rhythm that ebbs and flows between celebration and lament. In the past months, I have been, on several occasions, accused of worshipping death, promoting a morbidity in worship because I have led us to explore this continuum, this wholeness found in Scripture. I do not wish to defend myself (at least not when I'm in my right mind) but I do believe, with all of my heart, that unless the evangelical fellowship of which I am a committed member learns to embrace this continuum we will remain as immature worshippers, and ultimately, ineffective lights in this dark and broken world.
These are my thoughts two days before Ash Wednesday. I hope that you will consider walking the journey with me, the journey that follows our brokenhearted Messiah who was, yes fully God, but also fully man.
The tunes I've selected for this week's mix tape include some of the songs that tell the stories of broken people hoping for redemption. In other words, as Leonard Cohen poeticizes, these songs offer up a broken hallelujah.
Music that reminds you of your humanity: what's your favorite? Feel free to add to my theme or share what's playing in your ears right now...
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