navigating lent: why?

Lent. A time on the Church calendar nudging those who follow Jesus to look inwardly + upwardly.

Whatever your faith [or lack thereof] looks like, introspection is intriguing — attractive, even.

The rough part: Actually wading in that murky tension of who you are, who you want to be, and who you were created to be.

My favorite seminarian has written a couple thoughts on lent for our friend’s blog, Creative Theology. I think they’re worth reading. I’ve included the links + intros.

  • A New Take on Lent - Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of lent-love in the Craig home. Raised Baptist, I mostly (errantly) believed that Lent was a silly form of legalism created by the Catholic church to keep people afraid and in line. With little-to-no knowledge of the early church or even the fact that it’s not just Catholics who celebrate the Lenten season (whaaaaa?!), it was simpler for me to marginalize the belief and practices of others than to be self-reflective.
  • On Sin and Lent: How do I empty me of… me? When I investigate my innermost desires, I believe I can say honestly that I want to be a vessel from which God pours our healing to the world. But how?

a glad surrender.

A friend sent me today’s post from A Glad Surrender, a lent blog + devotional by Cornerstone Church in Ames. What a simple + poignant reminder that adoption can reflect the gospel. (Yes, those are the hands of my awesome husband and son.)

"Pure and undefiled religions before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27

Perhaps the most amazing part of the good news of Jesus Christ is that we are not merely forgiven, but we are adopted into the family of God. If we imagine a child in an orphanage who has given up all hope of being adopted by a family and then suddenly finds out that she has been adopted not just by a family, but by a loving father who has a wonderful family and also happens to be the king, we get a partial glimpse of the reality that has happened for each one of us.
A wonderful picture of how we can respond to God’s love is being played out at Cornerstone right now as many families are adopting children both domestically and from abroad. There are many more still in need of homes. Each child is an opportunity for a family to try to reflect the love God has shown us in adopting us.
Starter Prayer: Father, thank you for adopting us into your wonderful family. We pray that you would continue to raise up Christian families to adopt children in need of a home. We pray that you would help us, as a church family to support them and all the parents who are trying to raise their children to love and obey you.