Greetings from St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor, wishing you peace from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you’re searching for a spiritual home that serves a feast of God’s Word over entertainment, then I invite you to check out our website at redroofchurch.org and watch one of our worship celebrations. Better yet, if you’re in our neighborhood right off 281 and FM 1863, stop by. We worship at 8:30 and 10:45 AM every Sunday and at 7:00PM on Wednesday evenings during the Lenten season. I promise, you’ll hear God’s Word and not a social agenda. You might even be entertained, but you will be inspired.
I hope you had a good beginning to the season of Lent which began this past Wednesday, March 6th, Ash Wednesday. I’ve noticed mid-week Lenten worship doesn’t have the same desire of involvement it previously possessed at many churches. I saw a story on the internet about a 4th grader who came from worship to school marked with the sign of the cross on his forehead in ash only to be told by his teacher to remove it. Apparently, the teacher was unfamiliar with Christian tradition (at least in the liturgical churches like Roman Catholic and Lutheran, for example) of the imposition of the ashes on Ash Wednesday.
Surprisingly, I am not shocked. Lent, a time of thoughtful self-examination and penitential preparation to journey with Jesus to the cross of Good Friday is seemingly being replaced by a more secular desire for self-improvement. You know — Eat more Kale — Cut out Krispy creams — Exercise more — Detox.
I never was a big fan of the traditional “Give up something for Lent” crowd with the premise that we’ll suffer with Christ. I don’t recall Jesus denying Himself chocolate [did He even have chocolate to give up?] or give up sex don’t even think I’m touching that one]. I’ve also been an advocate of doing something FOR Lent of a more Christ-like nature rather than giving up something I shouldn’t over indulge in anyway.
However, the decline of Lent and its purposeful meaning has hit a new low with drive-thru ashes offered at a city church. Don’t worry about that depressing confession and absolution stuff. Repentance — that’s old school. Today’s modern Christian wants sin without regret and God on demand.
Can’t wait for Easter and drive-thru communion [yes, that’s been done too]. Just serve up that chilled wine and designer wafer and get me back on the road to that leg of lamb or roast turkey or baked ham at grandma’s nestled in a bed of green plastic grass surrounded by chocolate bunnies [after all Lent will be over] and jelly bean droppings.
Am I missing anything. If this is what your Lent and Easter has been or is, I’m guessing with a fair degree of confidence you are — Christ.
But those are just my thoughts as we begin our Lenten journey.
God bless and be sure you know what you see in the mirror staring back at you.
Pastor Lee R. Harder