I want to Lent-blog. (Lenten-blog? Lincoln log?) Or at least to ruminate decently on Ash Wednesday. But as a gosh-durn Babdisst, I'm not really observant. (In any sense.)
So, at best, I'm going to blog about feeling bad about things, because that's the closest I can come to confession and sorrow, denominationally speaking.
I like the idea of the ash tradition. Neat symbolism. Take the dried-up devotion of the past (the palm leaves) and burn it. Mix with the Spirit (oil) and apply directly to the forehead.
So much of my devotion has become dried-up leaves. Branches plucked from the true vine and vainly trying to stay green on their own.
Apart from He, I can do nothing.
I'm tired of having to be strong.
Today, hear what I say/Hands in the air saying have thine own way.
Yesterday, a friend was given asylum in this country, because he was in danger of being deported. He had committed a crime a few years back, before he came to faith, and now that crime threatened to cause his deportation. He told me how he has lived with guilt for all this time. How his bones wasted away with grief, and his tears were many, morning and evening.
Yesterday, his appeal was heard. His righteousness shown like the noon day, and the justice of his cause was carried by His God. And my friend experienced relief for the first time in years.
I think that's part of the message of Lent. We bear the sorrow and guilt of our sins, but we don't bear it forever. And one day, we find release. The terror of being sent away haunts us no more, as we are graciously granted asylum in the Kingdom.
Good news. Gospel.
(with apologies to DW)
i repent of constantly choosing amusement over enrichment,
of preaching patience and showing short-temperedness.
i repent of refusing to control my tongue or my eyes or my belly.
i repent of resisting the call to my ministry,
of rolling my eyes and sighing when i am needed.
i repent of half-heartedly feeding your sheep.
i repent of wasting so many opportunities, so many goods.
i repent of putting barn-expansion ahead of generosity
and of thinking that one child sponsored out of millions is more than enough charity.
i repent of wasting time.
i repent of wandering eyes, indulgent thoughts, coarse and unseemly words.
i repent of my unfaithful heart.
i repent of asking God "how much is enough for you? how much before you are satisfied?"
i repent of holding back.
i am guilty, and of these things i repent.
I have to get work done. I haven't gotten anything done today.