This last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday (maybe you noticed the ashen crosses marked on the foreheads of people at work or on the street), the seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday, and the first day of the Season of Lent. We haven’t made a huge deal out of the Season of Lent in our stream of the Christian tradition, largely because “evangelicals” have often veered away from practices too closely connected with anything “catholic” or “high church.”
Indeed we are a people most clearly and identifiably shaped by the Resurrection of Jesus and the new life that is possible through a relationship with Him! Anything that smacks of external religion only or forms of worship that are empty of any spiritual meaning or significance have no place in the living out of our faith. Without a doubt, this season on the Christian calendar can dwindle to that. But it doesn’t have to.
At their best, Ash Wednesday and Lent remind us of the need to humble ourselves before the Lord, to realize the consequences of sin in our lives and in the world, and to reflect on what needs to change in us if we are to be fully Christian. As I tried to explain some of this to my 10-year old daughter Cady this week, she simply replied, “Shouldn’t we do that all of the time dad?” Well said Cady, well said.
This Sunday we begin a 3-week series of sermons on the relationship between our faith and our daily work. Surveys reveal that 90-97% of Christians have never been trained to apply biblical faith to their work life. And yet for many of us, we will spend nearly a third of our lives at work! What is God’s view of work? Why should our faith affect the way we approach our work? How can we live out our faith on the job? Come Sunday and be a part of the conversation!