What We’ve Given Up for Lent (and Easter? and Pentecost?)

Our Presbytery Staff is working from home now and yesterday – in between Zoom calls and phone calls and email checks –  I made soup and peach cobbler.  I didn’t hate working from home yesterday.

Too Bad. Everybody’s Observing Lent this Year

I’m wondering if we are not going to hate some of the alterations in the way we do Church in light of COVID 19 as we are “forced” to:

  • Click on worship at our convenience while wearing sweats.
  • Meeting via Zoom from the comfort of our kitchens.
  • Work from home in our pjs.

I’m hoping we will not learn to love this way of being Church Leaders for the sake of essential human contact.  But this Lenten season is no joke.  We are giving up:

  • In-person congregational worship
  • In-person meetings
  • In-person retreats
  • In-person mission projects
  • Long-planned conferences – and the hotel stays and flights that go with them.
  • Hand-holding at the hospital bedside.
  • Weddings and funerals and retirement celebrations.

This is not what we had in mind when we pondered what to sacrifice for Lent.

It’s possible that these alterations will help us make some excellent permanent changes like:

  • Making scheduled online contributions.  (PLEASE make an online gift today to your church.)
  • Downloading the giving app and using it.
  • Continuing the spiritual discipline of checking on our vulnerable members.
  • Continuing the spiritual discipline of offering random acts of service to the neighbors (gift cards for those laid off, etc.)

How do we prepare ourselves for an Easter that might require no in-person worship?  This is a possible scenario.

Of course Jesus will rise whether we sing “Up From the Grave He Arose” or not.  Jesus will rise whether there are lilies or handbells or egg hunts or fun bonnets.  Actually, if we must celebrate Easter alone in our homes, it will be more like that first Easter in the Gospels than the spectacle we usually experience.

What we can never give up for Lent or any other season: the need for community.  What we can never give up is our need for redemption.

Please be community for someone today.  Bring light to someone who feels alone.  Offer hope to someone who feels worthless. Bring relief to someone who feels overwhelmed.

Maybe this is the Lent we actually need.

Image from LifeWay.  They gave up all their brick and mortar stores – and not just for Lent – in 2019.

One response to “What We’ve Given Up for Lent (and Easter? and Pentecost?)

  1. I don’t give anything up for Lent, but rather, add to. I add to the ways I can help others. I add to the things I can give away. I add to list of friends with whom I will make a special effort.

    So, this Lent season is very hard. Instead I am giving all of that up too, up to a point. I’m sending cards. Making calls. Baking biscuits to share with a grandma who takes care of her three grandchildren who are now out of school for 5 weeks. It’s all been reduced, though, to what I could have done.


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