Lent is an Invitation

February 18, 2015
Scott Gunn

Dear friends in Christ,

On this one day a year, even Lent Madness pauses to reflect on our life, our blessings, and our mortality. The entire season of Lent is an invitation to recommit to following Jesus. This day, Ash Wednesday, is a poignant reminder that life is short. We are meant to savor our earthly life and to live it well.

At the end of life, few people regret not having worked more, nor do they wish they had spent more money on stuff. In fact, end of life regrets usually revolve around love. "I wish I had spent more time with my family. I wish I had forgiven the person who wronged me. I wish I had been a more faithful Christian."

Ash WednesdayWhen we kneel before the altar and hear the words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return," we are reminded that we are mortal. We should not delay our decision to repent, to live more fully, to follow Jesus more faithfully.

Aside from the ridiculous competition and constant silliness of Lent Madness, we hope everyone who takes part will notice something about each of the saints. Every single one of the saints was a flawed human. You might be used to seeing them in stained glass or in marble, but they were living, breathing, messed up people not so different from us. And yet, each one of these saints managed to allow God's grace to work in them such that Christ's light shone brightly in their lives. They were witnesses to the world of the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

Over the course of this year's Lent Madness, you will meet 32 new saintly companions. Perhaps they will inspire you to follow Jesus in new ways, so that you can be a witness of the Good News of God in Christ. Perhaps you will invite the saints to pray for you, for they are also companions with us in our earthly pilgrimage. You see, beneath the silliness of the saintly smackdown, there lies a brighter, deeper truth in God's grace at work in the world.

This Lenten season, we invite you to draw closer to our Lord Jesus. Give up those things which keep you away from Jesus. Take on those things that bring you closer to Jesus. We hope Lent Madness is helpful on your journey.

We wish you every blessing in this Lenten season.

Tim+           Scott+

The Supreme Executive Committee


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99 comments on “Lent is an Invitation”

  1. Amen. Last year was the first time I had heard of Lent Madness, I enjoyed it immensely. It was quite an education while revealing Halo's come in many versions. Collective message for me was just offer Love, your gifts can always be useful to someone.

  2. What a wonderful way to start this Lenten season. I too just learned of Lent Madness last year and it was such a meaningful practice (with lots of laughs thrown in too!). Thank you!

  3. On Shrove Tues 2014, my husband was pushing our mower cutting our grass here in SE FL. He was hit by a passing car, air lifted to a trauma center and my Ash Wed 2014 was unlike any before. Never has "Dust thou Art and to dust thou shall return' ever meant so very much. Ash Wed. I served as an acolyte at the 10 am service, where else should I be? They had him in a drug induced coma... and was finally sent home from rehab on Maundy Thurs of all Days, he'd been in the Trauma ICU, then Trauma Ward, then for 3 weeks in the rehab facility - Thanks be to God, that God didn't call him home, rather God
    sent him back to the vineyard to do the work he has been give to do.

  4. Discovering Lent Madness in 2014 was a real treasure that I'm looking forward to this year. In addition to being something to give me a good laugh each day, it's also a mandate to focus on what it means to go through Lent day-by-day. God really gave you what my goddaughter once called "the genious thing."

  5. Scott and Tim (and all companions on this journey), The thing I most appreciate about the "saintly smackdown" is learning about these "flawed human(s)" who preceded us and who still inspire us despite (or is it because of?) their "flaws." I am not much on the trite cliches that we so often hear, but thank you, SEC, for another reminder that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called (i.e., ALL of us)! Let's begin the journey, indeed.

    1. that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called (i.e., ALL of us)! Let’s begin the journey, indeed. I
      I really like that thought! Thank you!

  6. Thanks for Lent Madness. It is a great gift to us all. St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal church and Deerfield United Methodist Church who share a building in Warren County, Ohio, will be playing this game together.

  7. So I've known about Lent Madness since it started, but I was just *too busy* to follow along. Until last year. While I didn't fill out those bracket thingies, I did read most of the posts each morning and laughed and learned and made my way through Lent with a smile on my face. It's exactly what I needed! I appreciate all your work, good humor and gentle satire. Thank you Tim and Scott and your team. Bless you. I think God is encouraging me to lighten up to become more of who God wants me to be. Besides, how can we lose if we're laughing *and* learning?

  8. Amen and thank you. I am snowed in and for the first time in many, many years will not make it to a Ash Wednesday service.

  9. Thank you for writing such meaningful, insightful words. What a wonderful reminder of the purpose of saints and how they function in our lives.

  10. Tim and Scott and Friends together on this journey, especially Joyce today, thank you for sharing. You light up our lives and give rise to the hope of keeping organized religion relevant. Thank you for lighting up our lives. Let the games begin!...with Love....and Fun!

  11. Informed about this by former rector. Sounds like a fun journey & looking forward to it. Thanks Celine.

  12. Thank you. Good thots. I am late to the Episcopal world and at first was hesitant about 'saints'. Followed Lent Madness last year and look forward to it this year. Good to learn about the people -- flawed and otherwise, smile.

  13. Thank you for inviting me on the journey. Discovered you last year and this year plan to be with you for every step (just not organized enough yet to have my brackets in hand).