Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.*

by chuckofish

Tulips from the grocery store brighten my day.

“All the absurd little meetings, decisions, inner skirmishes that go to make up our days. It all adds up to very little, and yet it all adds up to very much. Our days are full of nonsense, and yet not, because it is precisely into the nonsense of our days that God speaks to us words of great significance – not words that are written in the stars but words that are written into the raw stuff and nonsense of our days, which are not nonsense just because God speaks into the midst of them. And the words that he says, to each of us differently, are “Be brave…be merciful…feed my lambs…press on toward the goal.”

-Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

Lent begins today on Ash Wednesday. There is a traditional Ash Wednesday service going on somewhere near you. At our church, we have two services today, but neither time works for me. So I think I’ll go to a Noon service near work. If I do, then I will wipe my forehead off. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s pretentious Ash Wednesday worshippers.

Bonus points for the Veep. No brownie points for the Veep.

When my children were younger and lived at home, I tried to make them aware of Lent. We watched our Lenten movies and discussed them. These efforts were a hit.

Once I put a lot of bible verses in a bowl on the dining room table. Each night one of the kids would pick one and read it. We would attempt to discuss it during dinner. My family was less comfortable with these efforts on my part. They seemed hokey I guess. I’m glad I tried. Perhaps something sunk in.

Once again I will endeavor to keep a “holy Lent”–not by denying myself things like chocolate or wine but by being more intentional about keeping the Great Commandment. You know, the one about loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.

Good luck to me, right?

*Psalm 51, verse ll