I see that eye roll. That eye roll that says, “Making a post of links is a lame way to get out of actually posting anything.” You know, that is fair. I would probably think the same thing. But sit down for a moment, let me tell you a very quick story.
I was going to start this post with complaints about giving up meat for Lent. I had been doing real good about not complaining. (I have been doing less good about not judging others for complaining on Twitter, even though I am the one who willingly clicked the link to read all the #LentProblems tweets). I figured this would be a safe space to talk about how difficult it is to give up meat right before you go on vacation and how I passed an In-N-Out basically drooling and how I ordered a fish burger, a FISH BURGER, for crying out loud. But then I read these posts. Through reading these posts, I realized two things:
1. Annie, you need to calm down and get over yourself. (I have this thought more than I would like to admit.)
2. Lent is about something so much bigger than one person. Lent speaks into the darkness that it’s not about me. Lent says we are not alone. Lent says we need each other in this. Lent says it is about so much more than fasting meat. Lent says, remember Christ? Remember him on the cross? Remember his suffering? Well, there’s still suffering today and what are you doing about it?
So, don’t roll those pretty eyes of yours. Take a moment, and take a breath. Take the chance to remember why we celebrate Lent.
Also, Happy Feast of the Annunciation today!
“But it is this choosing of Other over Self that makes the offer of hospitality incredibly meaningful to those to whom it is offered. We all know that no matter how effortless the giver of the gift of welcome makes it appear, true hospitality always involves effort, and it is that thoughtful intention toward us that makes the experience so incredibly dear.
“To offer hospitality, you don’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to go big or go all out. You simply have to be willing to make yourself available to greet someone at the door, to help them shrug off their heavy burdens if only for a little while so that they can sit down, fully free to be themselves, fully free to be fully seen, while you make just a little bit of a fuss over them.”
“Our goal is for all to share and all to learn, so all should feel encouraged but not pressured to participate. Before and after you have made a contribution, welcome others to contribute by listening from the heart with uncommon interest and kindness. In so doing, you will “listen one another into free speech.” Avoid dominating, and gently seek to draw out those who may be less confident than you.”
“So if you are here thinking this is crazy. Bread that is the body and wine that is the blood of Christ? Forgiveness of sins? Water that combined with God’s word somehow brings us new life and wholeness? Loving enemies? Turning cheeks? You are right. It’s all pretty nuts. AND totally the most true thing I’ve ever heard or experienced. And best of all, it’s for you. All of it. The oil and ashes and the bread and wine and pies and burritos and – all revealing the glory of God – all revealing heavenly things among earthly things.”
And, you guys, this: “For Lent, Baptist dons orange prison garb for poor and imprisoned“:
“‘As a white, professional male, and middle class, I have never had to worry to leave my home or walk down the street and have people looking at me with questioning looks,’ said McKeever, 34, who also serves as the minister of youth at Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco. The orange jail scrubs are to enhance ‘my solidarity with those who truly suffer.'”
“Speaking Fear, Praying Shalom” by Osheta Moore:
“So I write my friends with blogs and I confess that as a black mama with Stand Your Ground Laws picking off our children one by one—I’m terrified of ‘them’. I invite them to write prayers as we stand together for God’s wholeness in the brokenness the justice system. We are white women and black, American and Canadian, young and old, urban and suburban and my fear will no longer perpetuate ‘us’ and ‘them’.”
Finally, Kid President: