Dear friends in Christ,
On Ash Wednesday every year, we set aside our usual silliness and frivolity as we begin the holy journey of Lent. Our fervent hope is that you will, if possible, find a way to receive the imposition of ashes today. This gritty reminder of our mortality is an important part of the earthly pilgrimage for those of us who follow Jesus.
This year, it may seem incongruous to play Lent Madness. Headlines are filled with news of a powerful nation seeking to use might to exert its will over an unwilling people. Here in the USA, people of all political persuasions can at least agree that our political system is broken. Social, racial, and economic divisions run rampant. Is there room for a silly approach to Lent?
As always, we remind you that Lent Madness is optional. If this is a year you decide to take off from the festivities, we understand. But maybe you, like us, crave the reminder that Lent Madness brings.
Amidst all the silliness, Lent Madness reminds us that God does extraordinary things in the lives of ordinary people. People of all sorts and conditions can be bearers of Christ's light in the world if they but open themselves up to God's transforming grace. When you play Lent Madness, you are constantly shown the imperfect but yet inspiring lives of people from many cultures, nations, and eras.
If Christ's light can burn brightly in their hearts, might there be room for Jesus Christ to shine from our lives?
Lent is our opportunity to reorient. We are given the gift of a whole season to turn away from the allure of worldly things and toward eternal things. We are invited to reject fear, hatred, judgment, and scorekeeping and to choose hope, love, mercy, and grace.
Whether you seek Christ's light in the scriptures, in prayer, in fasting, or even in Lent Madness, we hope you have a holy and blessed Lenten journey.
Image from flickr user John Ragai.