Lent

15 posts

Ash Wednesday: Do not give up, take up!

Ash Wednesday First reading Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 Psalm Psalm 51:1-17 Second reading 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Ps. 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Amen. Today is Ash Wednesday, marked literally and figuratively by the ashes that will be placed upon our foreheads as a sign and reminder of our mortality. It is the beginning of Lent, which is the season of forty days and forty […]

Toppled Cross

I Don’t Need Lent

I don’t need Lent. I don’t need to be reminded of my mortality. I don’t need to be reminded of the sinful and wicked workings of this world. I don’t need to be reminded that I am a sinner. I don’t need to be reminded that I am ashes and to ashes I shall return. I know I will die. I know this world is full of wickedness and death, suffering and pain. I know […]

“A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.”

The psalm assigned for today’s Morning Prayer is 102. Powerful, poignant, and a reminder both of the importance of lament in our prayer life and of faith within the midst of lament. Psa. 102:0   A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the LORD. 1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you. 2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to […]

Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer?

We are preparing some of our youth at St. B’s for confirmation and in so doing are working our way through the Catechism: An Outline of the Faith. As I was preparing last week I noticed the question referenced in the title. The Catechism reads as follows, Q: What are the principal kinds of prayer? A: The principal kinds of prayer are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and petition. Notice something missing? Where is lament? If you […]

Toppled Cross

Entering into Lent

An essay for St. B’s quarterly bulletin, The Branch. Growing up in an evangelical Presbyterian church I had never understood Lent until I was in college. I do not mean to suggest that my parents or the pastors did not know about Lent, but it was not something observed in our church and is largely ignored in Presbyterian communities. As I studied church history I began to get some sense of the season and its […]

Entering into Lent

From the St. B’s quarterly bulletin The Branch. Growing up in an evangelical Presbyterian church I had never understood Lent until I was in college. I do not mean to suggest that my parents or the pastors did not know about Lent, but it was not something observed in our church and is largely ignored in Presbyterian communities. As I studied church history I began to get some sense of the season and its traditional disciplines, […]

“Why lent is hypocritical”

Or not. The subject is a search that brought someone to Targuman and I hope they read my post Explaining Lent. As with anything else that we do, prayer, communion, charity, the attitude that we take into the endeavor makes all the difference in the world. Who shall ascend to the hill of the LORD? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart… (Psalm 24)  

Explaining Lent (to the Reformed and otherwise)

Our good friend Jim West has offered a couple of comments regarding Lent that he suggests are in jest and are clearly labeled as “mockery” but I think show a much more willful effort to misunderstand and misrepresent the Christian tradition of observing Lent. I should note that I grew up in an evangelical Presbyterian church and I should qualify that to say it was not a very “Presbyterian” church in that Dr. Halverson did […]

Jesus, “Not my will but…”

This post, like the previous one on Paul last week, is part of my larger devotional study Characters of God. This was presented this past Sunday, Palm Sunday. Characters of God is primarily about the flawed nature of biblical figures, how we can relate to and what we can learn from them. In this case, Jesus is not flawed, so the question is, how do we fulfill Paul’s call for us to be like Christ, […]