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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, March 7, 2011


We are entering the season of Lent. In the Christian tradition, Lent is the forty-six days before Easter. It is a time of prayer, penitence, almsgiving, and self-denial. Many people pray, few confess they have done anything wrong, some give to the poor, and it has become rare for anyone to deny themselves anything.

Mardi gras, or Fat Tuesday, is tomorrow and that is the day before Ash Wednesday–the first day of Lent. The point of Mardi gras is, if you are going to start denying yourself anything the next day–Party while you can! Our problem is that we started partying after World War II and never stopped. We used little effort to protect the peace that Armistice Day provided and indulged ourselves on every possible thing the hedonistic mind could imagine. What have we traded? To name only a few, we have: a new iPhone every year but broken families; a dangerous rise in obesity while some people starve; and a bigger and bigger TV screen but a smaller and smaller heart for God. Perhaps you can think of three more jewels you have traded for self-indulgence. For this Lenten season, I’d like you to shift your focus: give up nothing, but embracing everyone; eat all you want and share much more; pray for peace and fight for love; entertain yourself as much as you like and like spending time with your family even more; spend what you need and need even less; sing a song of love–this time out loud. Your time to party will eventually end. What will be left? Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and father of us all, Abba to your son Jesus the Christ, holy is your name beyond all our ability to express. May your kingdom of love and peace be manifested in each of us this day, so that we may experience Heaven on earth as do the angels above. During this time of Lent, may we see your face on those in need, your heart in the unlovable, and your smile on the invisible ones. We pray that we may be drawn to loving rather than partying, to service rather than self-indulgence. Forgive us when we have not seen the needy, not heard those who cry, and not touched a healing hand on those in pain. Lead us not into believing we have ministered to others on our own, because we know, only you can heal, only you can love without harming, only you can save when we get out of the way. May our goal be, not to party while we can, but to love while we can. In the name of Jesus, your son, our Savior, we pray. Amen.”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

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