Lenten Devotional – March 20, 2023

Monday, March 20, 2023
How to Inhabit Time by James K.A. Smith
Lenten Devotional by Mike Olsen
Living With Liturgical Time

What is Lent, anyway?  Why do we observe it?  Where did it come from?  Whose idea was it?  For that matter, what about Christmas, the Transfiguration, Easter, Pentecost, the Feast of St. Michael (just to slip that in), and Advent?  Why do we follow a “Liturgical Year?”

When it comes to the fluidity of “time,” we Christians don’t just march to a different drummer – we march to the drummer – God – who is “timeless.”  The Liturgical Year, as James K.A. Smith remarks in his book How to Inhabit Time, “rehearses the way time curves and bends around the incarnate Christ like a temporal center of gravity.” 

Lent and fasting date from the earliest centuries of the church.  Lent was “made official” at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and is still followed across all denominations world-wide. Individually, we not only fast, or “give up” (or as Pastor Travis has suggested – “take up”) something, or enter a time of reflection and devotion, at Lent, we also join all those saints who have gone before us in the “timelessness” of Christ.

Again, quoting James Smith, “When in the Tenebrae service on Good Friday candles are extinguished . . . and the shadows begin to swallow us, we are not just invited to a ‘historical event.’ We are invited to inhabit it in such a way that we are there and then.  When the last light is extinguished . . . we are bereft.”  We are in God’s time, liturgical time – not of this world.  We are there as they crucify our Lord.

Take Time to Be Holy
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Text: William D. Longstaff – 1822-1894
Tune: George C. Stebbins – 1846-1945

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