Early in the Morning

The phone rang at 3:01 am.

Not that the ringtone emanating from my mobile phone of the ringing telephone from the television show ’24’ woke me – I was up at 1:44 am because of a weird dream and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I stared at the “Unknown” glaring back at me from the home screen and I answered the call.

There wasn’t anyone on the other end.

Maybe it is a Lent thing, but I didn’t get upset or even cared that my phone rang ridiculously early in the morning. I just got up out of the chair in the living room and walked into the kitchen to fill up my coffee cup.

I noticed from the night before that I left this coming Sunday’s worship folder on the kitchen table. Staring at it for a minute, and being that it was early in the morning, my mind went to the movie Dogma and the image of Buddy Christ.

Buddy Jesus

The movie was about two angels who were thrown out of heaven and were looking for a way to get back. George Carlin plays a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church who introduces us to a happy version of Jesus, not the sad Jesus that we see on a crucifix. And Alanis Morisette plays God. Now, I know that sometimes the idea of talking about God and religion can raise the hairs on the back of people’s necks, especially clergy people (What!! God isn’t a woman!!). But the movie wasn’t anti-God, but made with the belief that God has a sense of humor.

Back to the kitchen table: As I looked at this weekend’s worship folder cover, I couldn’t help but think of Buddy Christ.

Buddy CHrist

The worship folder covers we purchase through Concordia Publishing House are terrific. The people here at St. Matthew’s love them! I love them! But this weekend’s cover – I really love!

Lent can be one of those church seasons that gets lost in the everyday slog of life. Yes, some people deny themselves material goods as a way of reflecting on the power of sin over the human condition and our great need for a Savior. Others tend to forget that the season of Lent is even here!

This Lent, I am taking this time to reflect upon the Son of God who saved me from eternal damnation. Not just the Jesus of the Cross that hangs in St. Matthew’s sanctuary, but the Jesus who humbled Himself to become one like me in order to win me for eternity. I look to the Jesus who won the battle for me, who smiles down at me from heaven and calls me His own.

I walk this Lent not in sackcloth and ashes, but with my head held high as one redeemed by Jesus.

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9


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