Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Caught in a Lenten Vortex

Last year during the season of Lent, it was all I could do not to be a curmudgeon. See what Easter joy brings?

Last year, I wasn't even serving in a congregation full-time. I was a Saturday-Sunday only pastor, commuting 400 miles round trip on the weekend to South Dakota Ranch Country. I still had to face Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I was crabby then. To be crabby takes a certain amount of effort, an effort for which I had time last year. Now, I don't even have time to be a curmudgeon. I can only put my head down, and pray that God will shine through me some ray of grace, because I don't have much in me, and any grace I will receive truly is grace, because I don't deserve it.

That being said I see good in the world around me. I see a budding call in a servant of the Church who has worked to turn his life from something destructive to something that can feed others. I am working hard to equip and encourage this person. I see a congregation working and praying to be vital in what they perceive to be scarcity. I see new congregations forming out of the dreams of beleaguered souls that desire to be redirected.

My favorite theologian, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann calls this kind of proclamation I am doing a psalm of disorientation and reorientation. Though my writing doesn't match the psalms. I experience disorientation and reorientation during Lent, but the reorientation seems farther off.

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