Lenten Service: Clarification

“You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody”

– Bob Dylan

There are many forms of clarification. You can clarify a statement by restating it in more understandable terms. You can clarify an image but taking out the blurs and imperfections. You can clarify butter by melting it down in order to separate the milk solids from the butter fat (Milk solids burn at a lower temperature than the pure butter fat).

For Christians, Lent is a time of clarification; a time of restating, de-bluring, skimming. The what of the clarification, though, is not personal achievement but declaration of service. Who you gonna serve? Lent isn’t a time of past tense. It isn’t a time to live off of former glories and former pledges and deeds well done. It is a precise declaration of the present. Of the need for Easter, of the need for a savior.

The ascetic disciplines of lent are really simply idol testers. Do I worship this idol? I can ask myself a thousand different ways, but once I live without it I will know. It is like the distinction between money and the love of money (as being the root of all evil). How do I know if I love money? How do I know if I love God? My faith is in Christ but am I?

As a church community, we continually clarify our mission and our faith through service. Our service focus for Lent is on Human Trafficking. We have been providing resources during worship as well as decorating our new worship space with images of Human Trafficking from both around the world and in Austin. You can follow more updates and get more information at Freedom Together: Mediations on Slavery and Actions Towards Freedom.

Contribution by Wilson Pruitt