And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:13
Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you were able to tell the ones you love how very much you love them. Better yet, I hope you were able to show your love in a variety of simple, kind, and generous ways.
So what does Valentine’s Day have to do with keeping a simple Lent? The answer is nothing and everything. The commercial celebration we are urged and guilted into celebrating has nothing to do with Lent. The idea of love–of God, neighbor, and self–has everything to do with today.
…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. — Mark 12:30-31
A simple Lent begins with tending to those things most important in our lives–God, neighbor, and self. Our fast-paced hyper-connected world tries to tell us that many things demand our attention, our time, and our money; however, this is a lie.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:21
Our needs as human beings are quite simple–food, shelter, clothes, and relationships. If we strip away all the extraneous “stuff” of life and focus on the basics, then life begins to look quite different. We find ourselves equipped to really live each precious minute.
Whoever and whatever you value–that’s where your time, your attention, your focus, your money, and your heart will be. To keep a Simple Lent spend some time this week reflecting on the three scripture passages above and on whom and what you treasure.
Choose wisely; if you do not, your heart will surely be fragmented, broken, and battered by the storms of this world.
Photo by Alice Popkorn. Thanks!