Monday, March 28, 2011

Giving It Up for Lent

The Lenten season is our time to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.  In order to honor the Lord, many people choose to deny themselves something significant, sort of as a symbolic fast. People give up chocolate, drinks with caffeine, and desserts. I have a friend who has chosen to go without meat for the season. Others give up TV or some form of recreation. 

Usually, these disciplines are good for us physically and mentally, as well as spiritually. 

I have some other suggestions. 

You know all those people who annoy us by being unreliable and inconsiderate? Maybe we could give up being impatient with them for the season. 

Or maybe I could give up resentment for Lent, where I choose to go without nursing old grudges. 

How about giving up some of our busyness for Lent?  Like Martha, we need to drop the many things that make us worried and agitated to spend time at Jesus’ feet. 

You get the idea. Watching my food intake is good for my health. But perhaps I could refrain from things that would benefit my spirit more directly and honor Jesus more fully. 

I look forward to celebrating the Resurrection with you.   

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's Not About Being Embarrassed

American society tends to swing on a pendulum between utter shame and utter shamelessness when it comes to human sexuality. When we educate the children we tend to emphasize the shame. 

We tell them to be careful because of pregnancy or illness.  We warn them that they could ruin their lives by cutting short their educational opportunities. We’ll talk about how the whole family would be ashamed, especially Aunt Grizelda, if anybody found out.

While those things bear consideration, they’re not the most important issues that should be emphasized. 

The Bible has insights about human sexuality that are much deeper than a mere physical drive. It is a spiritual union. It’s powerful, lovely, and should be shown proper respect. 

That’s why we teach our children about sexual values.  And that’s why we adults should practice them.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).