Ash Wednesday, 2021

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6

After eleven months, do we really have to give up anything for Lent?

How about we give up masks?

Easy, Karen, that was a joke.

Actually, I think what I’ve given up is any sort of regular sleep pattern. I don’t know if it’s related to the treatment, to the irregular schedule of the holidays, or the forty-seven years of house arrest, but I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night.

I’m writing this at 2:46 a.m.

You’re welcome.

But maybe, just maybe, Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up this year.

Yes, that’s the tradition. But the real purpose of Lent is for a time of self-examination and reflection as we prepare for Easter.

Maybe you feel you’ve had too much time to reflect over the past, almost, year.

As we approached Easter last none of us anticipated how long we’d be sequestered.

The then Pastor of the church we’ve been attending made the comment that, while we couldn’t gather for Easter, when we finally could gather again, that would be our Easter service. We haven’t been back to church since and the Pastor has moved on to a different assignment within the denomination.

It’s all cool. The new pastor has become a friend. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a fellow Tolkien geek.

I digress.

I don’t have some grand, holier-than-thou plan for contemplation and sacrifice during Lent. Especially in a year when it seems like we’ve had more than our fair share of time for contemplation. My current reading plan has me about half-way through the Book of Acts.

Last year I wrote about a meaningful Lenten season some thirty years ago when I was dealing with cancer. I didn’t need a second round with cancer to have a meaningful Lenten season, but I want to take nothing for granted.

So, while we anticipate that early morning on the first day of the week, I want to think less about what I’ve had to give up and more about the one who made the ultimate sacrifice for me.

GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member, Carman is no longer waiting for Sunday morning. After battling cancer for years the Contemporary Christian artist passed away after complications from surgery.

No one sang about Sunday morning quite like Carman.


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