Giving Up Lent for Lent

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- Adam Lorenz 

I’d like to imagine it like this…

A warm sunny day with a soft spring breeze.  A buzz coming from a crowd that is anxiously shuffling to see. Anticipation and excitement grow as the crowd begins to part. Suddenly, cloaks are being thrown down with people grabbing branches from the trees to join their garments. 

All paving the way for this man. 

‘Our King! The King! A king?’

And not more than a week later, the cheers went from cries of praise and celebration to taunts and a longing for blood.

‘Take him away and kill him!’

How quickly does the novelty of Christ wear off in our lives? How quickly do we long to shed the things that have gotten between God and ourselves. There is a desire within us to let go of our old selves and also a desire to step into the lives we feel we should lead.

Which brings us to Lent, a season in the Church where followers of Christ are invited into letting go and stepping into. 

We understand letting go. We understand the ways we are not living well, our bodies themselves serve as reminders of how we should be treating ourselves better. Lent has proven to be both the invitation and the excuse for the struggle to step into how we always should be.

We know it’s more than giving up chocolate or Facebook, but we don’t like the idea that in letting go, there is a step also to be made.  We want to celebrate the King but often neglect the Kingdom He has invited us into. 

We want control, but we don’t want the responsibility.

As we enter these final days of the Lent season, we have the opportunity to not only join in the praises of ‘Hosanna!’ but also the temptation to add to the roar of ‘Crucify him!’  Our bodies may be cleansed and our minds renewed; but will we step into what’s next? 

Or as Herni Nouwen asks, do we have the ‘willingness to be led where you would rather not go’?

Might this be the last part of this season? To let go of it just being a season, but life.

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Adam Lorenz is a rider, a thinker and a lifer. Currently he is pursuing his Master of Divinity at Western Theological Seminary and is a pastoral resident at Mars Hill Bible Church working with high school students in Grandville, Michigan. He writes at www.adamlorenz.net and follow his daily thoughts on Twitter at @adamlorenz.