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.
The Supreme Executive Committee
Image from flickr user John Ragai.
I can't find my way to the bios and vote. Where are they hidden? You have made it too fancy.
Come back tomorrow! When voting begins, you'll find the bios and the voting feature.
I appear to be so ready to play that I did not understand that tomorrow is the start date.
But the site is a bit much.
I'm looking forward to playing again. It's a learning experience among so much worldly madness out there.
I love the new site! The menu button in the upper right corner, the ability to post my bracket and compete in one of 4 bracket options - so cool! Kuddos! Almost all the favorite things are here, just in a new format, and there are new things to delight me. I seem to be using a lot of exclamation points, but that is because I am excited, so here, have a few more !!!!!! It even looks great on my phone.
Thank you for this lovely invitation to observe a Holy Lent, which for me includes the passionate fun of Lent Madness. Where would we be if we failed to notice the communion of saints who surround us, intercede for us, and were enmeshed in a world as messy as our own? And all presented on this delightful new website. Also, it is good to have one day in Lent when one's bracket is not bust!
Thank you for your faithfulness. The invitation to a Holy Lent hit exactly the right note for me today. May the journey this year be a blessed one for all of God's children.
I'm looking for the Social Media share buttons on posts like this one. Could you help me find them, please?
Thank you for this lovely invitation to a Holy Lent. I look forward to it every year, as well as playing Lent Madness!
I'm having trouble printing the bracket this year. Is it because of the new format?
I didn't read this yesterday, but I did get the ashes and we had communion for the first time in ever so many months.
I appreciate this lentmadness, even in the midst of such worldmadness.