Lent - Rejection or Accomodation? - Fidelity Pt. 3

The season of Lent has been upon us for a few days now, and I must confess I haven't opted to give anything up. It's hard for me to even be mentally prepared for Lent: although I attend a liturgical church now, I did not grow up in one. The idea of Lent remains foreign to me, though attractive in its symbolism: Christ in the desert. As we contemplate Jesus' temptation and spiritual preparation in the desert, so we are prepared to commemorate the Passion of Christ.

Having chosen a meat-free diet for a few months now, maybe I'm exempt... (?)

But maybe rejecting something - sacrifice - isn't the only path to illumination. In Chapter 2 of The Fidelity of Betrayal Rollins cites Peter's vision in Acts 10:

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, "Get up Peter. Kill and eat."

"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

Rollins observes, "This vision fundamentally challenges what Peter holds to be the command of God and opens up a difficult dilemma: in order to obey the command of God he must disobey the command of God." (pg. 34)

As Christians, we love pious [public] sacrifices - especially if you grew up Pentecostal!

"Oh, I don't watch R-rated movies! I don't listen to secular music! I don't drink alcohol! I don't swear - ever! I don't believe in meditating. I don't smoke. I don't laugh at sex jokes." And so it goes.

So, is there anything you might spiritually benefit from, by adding to your life?

  • Watch a beautiful, Oscar-nominated, R-rated film - and be moved!
  • Listen to some gut-wrenchingly haunting secular music (I recommend Iron & Wine this week).
  • Have a glass of red wine.
  • Go take a yoga class and don't worry if you aren't focusing on Jesus the whole time.
  • Smoke a cigarette with a non-Christian friend and don't apologize or try to explain it away. See what happens...
  • Laugh at a joke about sex. Because sometimes, sex jokes are funny.

Maybe, in enjoying some "non-Kosher" activities, you WILL be giving something up for Lent: overly-self-conscious, subculturally-mandated pietism. Mmmm... that tastes delicious.

1 comment:

Anwar said...

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