Idag är det askonsdag och vi skulle ha firat en gemensam mässa tillsammans med Finska och Estniska kyrkan. Men en annalkande snöstorm gjorde att vi av omsorg om församlingen valde att ställa in gudstjänsten. Men här är i alla fall den predikan jag hade tänkt hålla. In English, vilket erkännes kanske inte är mitt starkaste ämne.
What is the real purpose of lent?
For the moment we can see and read about people who is giving up things for lent. Everything from chocolate, to wine to social media. Usually these people also tell the rest of us exactly what they are giving up for lent, in this little bit “holier then thou” voice
So, are they right? Should we all hurry to give up something for 40 days, and remember to tell everybody about it to brag, I’m sorry, to inspire others?
To give up something for 40 days is not the purpose. It is the tool.
A tool to help me think, not about me, myself and I. Not about my life. But about what is important in Life, with a capital L.
Giving up chocolate for 40 days. It´s not a sacrifice. Yea, I know. I will miss it. But in the end I know I will benefit from it and become healthier. I salute you who make it. As I salute you who manage to quit smoking or drinking etc. Yes, Lent is a perfect time to start a new healthier life. Go for it!
But remember, that’s not the real purpose of lent. It is not about me or my life. No. The purpose of lent, to restrain from something during these 40 days, is about to see outside of myself. To see others. It is about Life, with a capital L
To giving up something is the tool to help you do it. To see what´s really important. To realise what you have instead of focusing on what you don´t have.
So if giving up chocolate for 40 days, will help you do it, then please do. And you don´t have to tell anyone. Because this is between you and God.
But may I ask, would you give up something that really matters. Like…Would you give up your car? Let it stand in your parking spot for 40 days and instead use the subway, bus or bicycle for 40 days?
Now we are talking sacrifice. Now it´s suddenly a little bit, uncomfortable.
Just thinking about not have access to a car for 40 days gives me a hint of a glimpse of how a lot of people in this city have it.
And now we are starting to touch the purpose of lent.
It´s not about me. Its not about myself and I! It´s about Life. It’s about to remember that we are only here for a short time. A brief moment.
Both you and I will some day, once again be dust.
The question is; What do I do with my life until that day?
In what way do I contribute to make this world a better place?
In what way do I honour God?
That is the real purpose of lent!