For some, who give in, they are led to disgraceful acts of greed and ego with catastrophic results. All we need do is read the headlines in the newspapers or listen to the nightly news...we know who they are and are able to judge their heinous acts...choosing profit over the lives of innocent children, manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.
But for most of us, our pride and greed is somewhat more contained...a white lie here and there...perhaps a small theft once in a while...a few carefully chosen harsh words meant to wound. Most of us are basically good people, trying to live as God has called us to live. In the recesses of our hearts we know we’ve been tempted...we’ve stood on the precipice of surrendering to our baser desires...enticed by money, recognition, or power to take advantage of situations or people, neglect of our responsibilities, or treat ourselves or others with disregard and disrespect. But take heart...the slippery slope toward sin does not a sinner make...St Paul in his letter to the Romans tells us that the “lie of sin” is that we think we can’t recover....that our sin makes us irredeemable...unloved and unlovable. Nothing is further from the truth!
We are assured over and over in the Gospels and the Psalms that nothing, no sin, can keep us from the love and forgiveness of God. God puts our sins as far away from us as the East is from the West!
Lent is an opportunity to walk into the darker corners of our heart and face our shortcomings and open ourselves to the Light of Christ...to allow Christ to transform us into the people that God dreams us to be. But how do we do that, individually, as a community and as a nation? How do we deal with our national sin of systemic racism and bigotry, as well as the sins of misogyny, the rejection of the immigrant, the refugee, the LGBTQ community, the poor, the mentally ill, the handicapped, the rejection of the one who is “other” than me?
Lent can be a time to look not only at our personal sin but at our nation’s “structural sin”! Lent can be a time to begin again — let us not allow the sins of our past and pre‐ sent to darken our future by thinking that all is lost! Instead let this Lent be a season of newness; a season of beginning again.
What can I/we do to let the light of Christ illumine the darker corners of our hearts and of our nation’s soul? What feelings or actions do I/we need to let go of to begin again, living a more Christ centered life that can lead us to take on the structural sins of our country? What can I do this Lenten season to build up the Reign of God by working for racial justice and for an end to white privilege.