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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mercy, not sacrifice

Sam and Dixon 's idea is catching on, judging from this morning's Tennessean.

Instead of giving up soda, chocolate or swearing for Lent, some Midstate Christians are planning to volunteer at senior centers, spend five-minutes-a-day on social activism or pledge to crush their used Starbucks coffee cups to be more ecologically conscious...

The Rev. Thomas Hotchkiss of Church of Advent Episcopal is encouraging congregation members to combine the act of personal penance with charity work. "Giving up chocolate is something beneficial to oneself, which may OK, but taking all the money that everyone spends on candy bars and sending it to relief of children in Northern Uganda has an impact," he said. "That's what we're trying to get people to think on."
Someone who woke up very early on the wrong side of the bed disagrees:
Let me get this str8 (pun intended)... For 40 days, which ends at Easter, these people are no longer burdened with denying themselves chocolate (or other self indulgences), lying, swearing, buying soda, leaving a tip, recycling or anything else which would make them a 'better' christian? So on Easter Sunday, praise the lord, they can now curse, lie, eat diet cokes, leave no tips etc? No wonder this is their biggest holiday!

Frankly, I doubt Jesus is impressed. If I were Lord and Savior, I sure wouldn't be.

What a wretched religion. What a trite concept and up something for 40 days which one shouldn't be doing anyway. If y'all were serious about this, I propose something different...instead of 40 days, the following should give up or practice the following forever:

-Catholic Priests should give up molesting children forever, and confess to law enforcement about the ones they did abuse. Catholic Bishops shouldn't cover things up.

-Baptists should go to a gay bar and embrace every gay guy there, not as an abomination, but as another one of God's creations.

Eh, nevermind, these things ain't gonna happen. In Jesus name we burp, and hold off on self-indulgence, swearing, lying and not-tipping until Easter morning, amen.
I can't argue with the sentiment, only the presentation. Regardless, Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." I have no issue with the traditional practice of Lent, observed sincerely, but I think this alternative take on 40 days better matches the God's hope for us.

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