As we began Lent, many asked me, “What are you giving up for Lent?” This reminded me of a similar question they asked a few short months ago, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” I don’t know about you, but for me every January brings a rash of New Year’s resolutions. And every Lent, I consider what unhealthy habit could I eliminate (even if it’s just for 40 days) that would make me feel better, that I might even stick with after Easter.
Some years I have been more successful than others and other years I have been completely “off the wagon” within a matter of days.
Instead of thinking about what we are “giving up,” there is an opportunity to do more or something we’ve never done before.
Opportunities are revealed by God and stem from the newness granted in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Just as spring is a time of renewal for our environment, so should this Lenten season offer an opportunity to reach for something deeper and transformational.
This message is an excerpt from a March 2012 Women of the ELCA blog by Jenny Michael. Today we remember Hans Nielsen Hauge, renewer of the church, who died in 1824.