I began participating in my first ever season of Lent (here’s a real 101 on the season) by using Scot McKnight’s 40 Days of Living the Jesus Creed (along with a decision to engage in a few other of the traditional elements of the season) . I’m still not completely sure what I’ve gotten myself into, but this is a journey of practice and engagement that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now.
So, here are some simple reflection thoughts from my first day of Lent:
- McKnight’s first movement is to point to Jesus’ amending of the Shema. This thought alone is enough to make my brain bubble out of my ear a little.
- Repeating a single passage throughout the day? Does repetition align behavior?*
- I obviously am a little rusting on my remembrance of the Deuteronomy 6 passage, word for word.
- If my central task is to love God and love others – how is this reflected beyond the personal recitation of a passage? Do I really believe that beyond anything else, these are my most important acts of life?
- How deeply have I failed the Shema, and more importantly, God?
- How incredibly good is God to forgive me when I am selfish instead of loving. It’s either sad or hilarious that he keeps letting me foul it up so many times, AND yet he lets me keep trying.
- I’m getting a little better each time at it. One day I might actually figure a little of it out.
*Somewhere, deep inside me, a little, angry, fundamentalist voice is shouting something about “the whole Bible” and “not the Old Testament”..something, something. I keep trying to smother that voice – and one day I’m sure I’ll finish him off for good.