Season of Lent – Getting Ready
It’s time for some confession and forgiveness.
My thing is confession and the freedom gained, as a Christian, through act of confession and forgiveness. It is the freedom gained in confession and forgiveness that gives us the strength we need to face the truth about racism within ourselves, the church, and the world.
It gives us strength…because we know we are forgiven, so can face the sins that no longer have a hold on our hearts.
It gives us strength…because we believe that God’s love for us is stronger than our love of power and empire.
It gives us strength…because being free of sin is being free from fear.
In our confession and God’s forgiveness, we are free to imagine and to live fearlessly, truly grasping the full humanity of everyone around us. Lent is a time to fully practice confession and forgiveness and to take on fearless living as our spiritual discipline.
So, how exactly do we do this?
Start by finding a confession and forgiveness that you can read at the beginning of each of the 40 days of lent. You can find them all over the internet. The general confession for the season of lent for the ELCA will work. However, if you are really hoping to focus on the healing work of racism, find a confession that deals with racism. The ELCA has a resources for an Anti-Racism Sunday. Check that out as a resource. Write your own confession if you would like. Make it personal to your journey around the issue of racism, your own blindness or denial. However, also make it communal, because you are one piece in a whole system of oppression. Confess and be honest. The truth really will set you free.
I believe strongly that freedom comes in the words of forgiveness. Hear how much God loves you and loves all people. Hear that you are set free from the sins that are weighing you down with fear. Tap into the strength that comes with believing you are truly a beloved child of God who has caught the vision of a beloved community.
Now, to practice living fearlessly in a time of global pandemic. While it seems like this is an impossible task, you already know that nothing is impossible with God (I know it is cheesy, but I couldn’t help it). My anti-racism work mantra is, “Keep showing up.” It is hard for me to keep showing up right now because of my health, but there are other ways to do it. For me, it is writing this blog and staying committed to what I started here. I am showing up when I share my story, my thoughts and my words. It is easy for me to believe my words don’t matter (a reminder that I’m a 9 on the Enneagram). Maybe I could just fade away and people would forget. No. Nope. Can’t do it. Keep Showing Up. Which means I need to keep reading, stay in conversation with people that are important influences on me, and keep up with that is happening around anti-racism work in both Racine and Kenosha.
It is time for confession and forgiveness. It is time to hear and absorb the words that free us to take action. It is time to start gathering the ways I can live 40 fearless days. What are your 40 days going to look like?
Lent starts in just about two weeks. This is just the, “getting ready” post. It is meant to get you thinking about what the forty days from February 17 to April 4 will look like for you. I’m going to work on having a post for each week of Lent, starting the week of Ash Wednesday. We can make progress if we give time to the practice of living fearlessly. We can make progress if we actually confess that the sin of racism has us all tied down and we can make progress when we truly believe that God has set us free.
Get ready for Lent.