Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Jeremiah 20: 10-13, Psalm 18, John 10: 31-42

A common modern practice during the forty days of Lent is to give up a vice or favorite indulgence, harking back to the tradition of fasting to bring one closer to God. But what if, instead of a physical sacrifice, we gave up a deep-seated attitude or habit of mind that is not serving us well?

I think that these are the “enemies” referred to in these passages – the things that keep us from our purest selves, like envy, self-pity, addiction, or greed. (Interestingly, Jeremiah also calls them “my familiar friends.”) While we all have them, we also have the power to slay them, and that power is God. In Jeremiah the Lord is a “dread warrior,” and in the Psalm he makes the writer strong and swift and able to overtake his enemies.

If we too sought God in this way, as the source of the strength we need to let our best selves triumph, we could deepen our experience of Lent in ways that would last well beyond the season.

Kristen Suokko

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