It is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
I grew up in a faith tradition that did not recognize or utilize the Christian calendar for worship or formation. Any mention of liturgy or ritual observance was dismissed as a lesser or a wrong kind of faith. Enthusiasm and melancholy experiences were mainly sought and the intensity of experience measured ones’ spiritual maturation. It is a tradition that while deeply influential in my faith development, I have determined unhelpful in the faith formation of my own children.
Today, on this first day of Lent I am contemplating what kind of faith I hope my children are being offered. I am pondering what practices we have passed along and remembering what we have intentionally sought to not pass along.
Part of my Lenten discipline this year will be the practice of writing. And I will be mostly writing with my children in mind. I’ll be exploring how, what, and why we engage faith and should we even remain Christian when the persona of American Christianity is so broken? For, I confess, I too have determined there are hollow and whole kinds of faith.
So, over the next forty days I will practice with words. It might not be many or timely. It probably won’t be poetic or super organized. But I will practice, with words, both lament and a confession of faith.
Joel 2:17, Isaiah 58:6-8, Psalm 51:10, 2 Cor. 6:3, Matthew 6:21
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