On Sunday April 22nd two cruel events collided. The cruelty of one is obvious: Travis Reinking, a man with a history of criminal acts and mental illness, reportedly used an AR-15 assault rifle to kill four young people and wound four others at a Waffle House in Nashville. The second event was cruel only by coincidence: the NY Times ran a story headlined “The Mass-Shooting Survivor Network” by Rick Paulus.
We are an Easter people. As a Christian community, we exist because of a reality that many dispute – the resurrection. Without Easter, our faith would not be the same. Without trust and confidence that the death of the body is not the last word, the Christian movement would look very different, if it existed.
Lent can be a time for self-denial, the harnessing of our appetites, and a time for taking on additional spiritual disciplines like alms giving and service to others. The point is not which technique we use; the point is following Jesus through forty days of preparation to take up our cross, in order not to lose our lives but to live them even more fully.