Ponderings for March 22 2019

My friend Steve asked me the other day, “How far are you going to take us on these new Lenten practices?”
“Up to the point of you thinking it’s meritorious,” I replied with a grin. Many of our ilk stumble a bit over Lent and its accessories (Ash Wednesday, giving things up, etc.), feeling it is too closely aligned with Rome or other denominational trappings. I say, “Nay, nay.” The observance of forty days of humbleness and repentance leading up to Good Friday and Easter are part of the fabric of our Christian heritage and are only troublesome when some heavenly “brownie points” and strict compulsions become a part of it.
I am glad for the inquiry. And I am very grateful for the many reports of Trinity folk experiencing the joy and diligence of their newfound Lenten disciplines. It won’t be long till we remember the cries of “Crucify him!” and “It is finished.” And they give way to our triumphant declarations: “He is risen indeed!”
Lent on!
This Sunday, in our study of Romans, we hear the words, “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” That has gotten me thinking about the precarious state of our minds these days, where we bounce from tweet to tweet, post to post, and blog to blog. There is so much information overload that we have become quite adept at superficial reading…which leads to shallow thinking…which leads to stale, empty, shallow minds, hardly renewed at all. Pastor Ty tells me that no one reads books anymore. Ouch! That makes me think that we have become like jet skis, simply skimming over the lake of tweets and Facebook posts, “liking” only what we agree with and thus validating what we already think and believe. There’s nothing “transforming” or “renewing” about that.
Can I challenge you to read, along with your Bible, several good books this year? Books that you will have to read slowly and ingest deeply. Books that tell good stories and extol high virtues. Books that won’t so much tell you what to think but further empower you to think. In order to have renewed minds, they must be in good working shape.
After Easter we will be reading the book Boundaries as a church community. Get it next week. Join a group next month.
In other news: The skeletal walls of the Gathering Space are up! Yay! For those still to come!
See you on the other side.
Pastor Paul