Daring to Treasure Christ (Ash Wednesday, Year C)

Ash Wednesday, Year C
Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
February 17, 2010

Grace to you and peace, from the one who is, who was, and who is to come.  Amen.

What are you giving up for Lent?
Some are giving up chocolate, others give up soda, others give up snacking altogether.
One friend of mine used Facebook to announce to the world that for Lent she was giving up Facebook.
In college one year I gave up all music except for Gregorian chant,
    setting aside my collection of 80's and early 90's electronic and techno pop hits.
But surely its not all about giving up stuff …
I know of some people who are taking on new disciplines,
    including exercise, or better sleep schedules, or healthier eating.
These are all good and wonderful things, for sure.
If we were to abide by these commitments,
    we'd find ourselves healthier and stronger,
    both physically and emotionally.
But when did the Lenten fast become a tool for self-help?
These things sound more like New Years resolutions than they do acts of penitence or spiritual fasts.

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