I suppose it may be rather odd that I choose to adhere the liturgical calendar when my church community does not. But we all have our peculiarities and this one of mine is an unexplainable love for a shredded veil. So what is it exactly? What sets these 40 days apart from the other 325? Simple, an invitation. The Lenten season is for us, a sweetly tender opportunity to examine our hearts. It is a beckoning to walk with Christ during his last 40 days on earth and to not just remember - but cry out in mercy and crumble in gratitude, humility, and reverence before the passion expressed on Calvary's tree.
It is easy for Christians (perhaps singling out American middle/upper class Christians???) to trample around in the over sized clowns shoes of cheap grace and promenade ourselves in the false bouffant assumption that the grace of God liberates us to live according to our desires. Whatever tastes good, smells good and feels good ought to be ours. And if it is a questionable desire don't worry about it; God's grace is sufficient enough so go ahead and indulge. Day in and day out we whore around like addicts of worldly pleasures without regard to the gnashing repercussions, because when we sit in our comfortable lazy-boy pews on Sunday mornings we are spoon fed cheap grace. Grace does not permit prostituted actions.
With each day of Lent I fall deeper into love with the penitential psalms. I think Psalm 51 might be my favorite of the 7. This poetic cry of David's is a vibrant expression of confession and repentance that is painted from a healthy understanding of his transgressions. What is so lovely about the psalmist is that he mourned over his sin. When do we ever take the time to cry over the chasm of sin we have dug? And really, should not crying out for mercy be our immediate reaction towards sin. Like gasping for air when the wind is knocked out of us, so too our plea for mercy when standing face to face with iniquity. I despise the way my sin separates me from the redeemer and so I cry. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love.