The human mind is one of God’s great wonders. But it has its quirks. For instance, there is a law of economics called, “The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility”. It tells us that people are less satisfied with a product the more readily available it becomes. We don’t have to know economics to know that about ourselves. Our brains adapt so easily to new information that unique experiences tend to be what keeps our attention. Even when it comes to something we love, our brains can seem to shut off. Does the fourth bite of ice cream taste as good as the first?
Our religious life plays by the same rules no matter what we intend. That is the gift of the season of Lent. You won’t find the word Lent in the Bible. It comes from the Old English word for spring season. In the Disciples tradition, because of our motto that “where the scriptures speak, we speak, and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent” there were many years when we rejected the concepts of Ash Wednesday and Lent simply because they weren’t in the Bible.
Lately, however, there has been a resurgence of honoring the season of Lent, not for its own sake, but for ours. The fact is we don’t pay attention to anything equally all of the time. Our brains adapt. We get used to things, even to wonder. When we set aside a season to pay special attention to following Christ, even to the cross, we protect our faith from becoming only a habit.
Lent began with Ash Wednesday, March 6th. Often, people will choose something to give up during the season of Lent, which helps us realize our selfishness and greed, connects us to those who have very little, and connects us to the sacrifice of Christ. Others choose to add something to their devotional life or life of service. Many choose to do both. It is a time of introspection, to consider those parts of our lives that don’t bring Glory to God, to repent and ask for God’s help to change. However, you choose to honor it, consider celebrating Lent this year to revitalize your walk with Christ and to prepare you to welcome Easter with a new-found joy.
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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