Meditations on Meditating

We are in the Christian season of Lent. As I’ve said previously, I grew up in a tradition where we did not really recognize Lent. As a kid, I knew that the Lutherans and Catholics chose something from which to abstain during Lent. I don’t even remember going to any special Ash Wednesday services.

I wonder if we practiced Advent mostly because of the commercial hype around gift giving. We had Advent calendars that marked off the days until Christmas. We had Christmas programs at church. We had Christmas programs at school (when approximately 100% of the school’s population is Christian, you could do that).

I’m meditating on Lent this year. Maybe because there is another movie out that, like the one by Mel Gibson several years ago, seems to focus on the death of Jesus. In some traditions, the “way of the Cross” is commemorated bringing to the front of mind the steps of Jesus from Pilate’s residence to the place of crucifixation.

We know the point of Christmas. It is that Jesus came into the world. For Lent, as it leads up to Good Friday and Easter there are two events. Death and resurrection. Tradition has us concentrating for 40 days (plus Sundays) on the death. We have one quick day celebrated by pastel colors and candy to remember the resurrection. And then it’s over.

Read Acts again. Read Paul’s letters. The first followers of Jesus did so because of the resurrection. That was the single most important event in our religious heritage.

Jesus said that he pointed the way to eternal life. John always uses the term in the present tense. Eternal life begins when you choose it. It also carries on to life with-God after we die–physically.

Those of us who meditate deeply understand the distinction of body and soul. We’ve experienced it.

We need a celebration to remember the resurrection all the time beginning with Easter and leading to Advent. It is our life now and our hope for the future.

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