People change all the time, sometimes for good, and sometimes for bad, and already I myself know that I am not going to be the same person on Resurrection Sunday than I was at the beginning of Lent. I know that there is nothing magical about Lent, to be honest I used to scoff about people who “did Lent”. But focusing extra on Jesus and for me using these 40 days to try to kick an old habit, well, there is value in that. I’m doing a lot of reading, probably just as much reading as I do during the semester, which will be starting again soon.
This morning I finished Justin Lee’s book “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay-vs-Christian Debate”. I read is as part of the research I am doing for the book I am writing. While I disagree with Justin on his belief that acting on gay desires is a sin, his book has value and much to offer the contemporary church. He encourages the church and the gay community to move away from an us. vs. them culture war mentality. He has a lot of insight on the “ex-gay” movement which is important to know. So while I disagree with his theological position, the book is a must-read and helped me see what else I can do to make sure gay people experience the love of God through the church.
Christians are the church, not the building that we meet to worship in. So far I’m about 70 pages in to Shane Claiborne’s book “The Irresistible Revolution”, and the message so far is to be the church we want the church to be rather than complaining about the inadequacies of the the church. If we don’t like the way the church behaves, we can change the behavior of the church.
Today I saw a conversation on Facebook where some extremely conservative Christians were disparaging a woman who had hot pink highlights in her hair. They accused her of worldliness and some said that they would not want to attend a church where the youth pastors wife had pink streaks. I used to get involved in this kind of discussion, agreeing with those who said it was worldly and wrong, but today I argued a little for the other side before letting it go. My view now is that God created each of us to be a unique individual, and our expression of that individuality is an act of worship to God.
I’m looking forward to worship tomorrow with all my brothers and sisters at church, on this first Sunday of Lent.