It’s halfway through the season of Lent. Halfway.
Halfway through anything is tough. Halfway through a workout, I inevitably start thinking about ice cream. Halfway through a 60 minute lecture my eyelids start feeling very heavy. Yep, halfway through Lent – it’s about time to ask, ‘Is it Easter yet?’
That’s one reason I’m so grateful for our newcomers! Here at St. Tim’s we have a great group of newcomers leading the way for us in their Lenten preparation for Holy Baptism. And this week they discussed the theological equivalent of the ice bucket challenge…the Renunciation of Evil. How’s that for a halfway-through-Lent wake-up call?
As we stand before the congregation at our Baptism or Affirmation of Baptism we are asked, “Do you renounce all the forces that defy God?” And with complete confidence we are invited to respond, “I renounce them.”
That’s enough to keep me awake until Easter. First, it’s a tough reminder of all that’s at work in my life that needs be renounced: judgmental words, accumulating more stuff, trying to find hope and comfort in something other than God (fill in any vice here), ignoring the needs of my neighbor, etc. Second, it’s an even greater reminder of how much God loves me!
As we head into the second half of Lent, we celebrate with humility and gratitude that God sees it all, everything that we have yet to renounce, and chooses to love us still. Through the cross of Christ, God shows us how deeply God is committed to loving us, whatever we may lack. Halfway through Lent it’s time to grab-on-to-the-cross-with-all-you’ve-got because no matter how confident (or not) our renunciation is, God’s acceptance of us and love for us are even greater! Amen?!
See you Sunday…