Are We There Yet? (the endless Lenten journey)

Are we there yet?

It should not surprise me, this happens every year; Lent has gone on too long. I feel like those people who come into the church each day and complain about the weather. I need more sunlight.

Seriously, how am I supposed to keep talking about ‘light vs darkness’, about being, ‘lifted up’, about ‘covenants’? I know I’m not the only one feeling the drag of lent. People are starting to complain about the hymns in worship; that’s a sure sign. Congregation member:  “Why can’t we sing more up beat hymns?” Me: “Because it’s lent.” Both of us: “sigh”.

Lent is like a parental life lesson. Do you know what I mean? Your father sends you out to shovel the snow. You get half the drive way done and, bored and cold and tired, so you go back inside. Your father asks, “did you finish already?” You say, “I’m just taking a break”. Your father says, “Get back out there till it’s done.” That’s what Lent is like.

Your father tells you that ultimately you’ll be thankful for this path of discipline. It’s teach you important life lessons like stick-to-it-tive-ness. (is that a real thing?) He tells you that not everything is easy, not everything is meant to be entertaining. You tell him that no one would mistake this for entertainment. You get sent to your room.

Palm Sunday is only a week away. Will Palm Sunday make me feel better? I don’t know. These days Palm Sunday is confined to the first ten minutes of the service. After that it’s Passion Sunday (a creation of the church to compensate for people not coming on Good Friday). (Thanks people.)

Oh well. I’m almost there. I’ve already written the sermon for Lent V. For the Lenten study Sunday evening I’m going to use a Walter Brueggemann DVD. Walter can get me through most things. Maybe I’ll go to the First Light service at the Catholic church. It features a big bon fire outside. That’s cool.

When I do get through Lent I know I’ll feel better, it’ll feel like it was worthwhile. It’ll feel like when I finished the drive way and my father said, “there, doesn’t it feel good to have done it properly?” Of course I said, ‘no’ but inside I thought, ‘yes’. Come the lazy, mindless days of summer I may even miss the intentionality of Lent. Could happen. It’s possible. I’ll let you know.

_