Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” of the bulletin for this coming Sunday, 1 March 2020, the 1st Sunday in Lent (A), at Fishkill United Methodist Church. Service begins at 10:15 and you are welcome to make your Lenten journey with us.
If Lent has a secular tradition, it is the practice of giving up something during the 40 days. Some people quit watching a particular TV show, others quit chocolate; some give up posting on Facebook.
I once suggested whatever you give up, you should give it up for good. That did not go well for those who were giving up chocolate though there are some who think that giving up Facebook wouldn’t be a bad idea.
But Lent is not be about living without chocolate for 40 days or forever; it is not about posting or chatting with your friends on Facebook. It is about preparing. It is about preparing for a Life in Christ. It is about preparing for the freedom found in Christ.
In a world without sin, Adam and Eve gave up that freedom. For 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus struggled with the very idea of freedom, freedom from sin versus the perceived freedom of power.
Lent is about the decision you must make. Do I keep the life I have, secure in the knowledge that you have your chocolate and Facebook posts, but open to the temptation of earthly power.
Or you can choose to follow Christ, giving up all pretentions of earthly power but secure in the knowledge that you have true freedom.
This Lent, you have to answer the question, “What will you give up?”