We pray that we might lead a holy Lent. A holy Lent. Holy. Lent. Holiness has to do with being whole; that to live in a whole way, we must consider our sinfulness, but also consider our blessedness.
All too often, the church has been a reminder of our sinfulness, of the ways that we don’t live up to God’s gift, of the ways that we fall down, and the church has all too often only been a source of reminding us of this sinfulness. All too often, I find myself encountering people who are in some sense “recovering” Christians – be they Episcopalians, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians or whatever room of the great mansion they may come from. They are, in some senses “recovering” from the baggage laid on them, and perhaps also, I am sorry to say, abuse.
Speaking of sin is important, because it can help us to really live in such a way that we know that we can’t “do it” all on our own. As Paul said, he “sees the good, but can’t do it.” We may know in our hearts and minds what it might mean to live well and good and lovingly and morally, but sometimes, we just can’t quite make it happen. Speaking of sin is important for the Church because it is a helpful antedote to arrogance and narcissism. Speaking of sin is important, in order to help us to focus more on God and our neighbor than on our self.
Speaking of sin, however, can’t be all that the church does. . . we also need to remember that we are blessed!