WE CHRISTIANS start thinking about the suffering of Jesus next Wednesday. That’s the beginning of Lent, a 40-day countdown to the Crucifixion.
Some folks suffer with Jesus by giving up stuff. Like chocolate, Coca Cola, or all TV but the Hallmark Channel.
I don’t give up a thing.
I have a different way of approaching this time of repentance and reflection.
I’ll let you in on it next week, on Ash Wednesday.
I’m going to hit you with a video I’ve been working on for the past couple of months.
I’m warning you almost a week ahead of time. It’s heavy. It’s personal. And if you’ve got a soul and functioning tear ducts, you’re going to get wet.
This is not a video you’ll want to watch at work. In fact, you probably won’t want anyone else around when you watch it. You’re going to react in ways you might not want others to see.
Cue Mel Gibson
Christians, as best they can, connect with the suffering and death of Jesus.
Maybe they’ll watch the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ. “Passion” is from an old-world French word that means “suffering.” But this is a new world, so we should probably retire “passion” since it means other things to us. “Suffering” gets the idea across, while “passion” wants a hug.
Some Christians will beat themselves bloody, or allow themselves to be nailed to a cross.
I don’t do any of that.
I eat what I want to eat. I live my life, as though it’s any other season of the year. I drink Coke or lemon water.
I won’t watch the Hallmark Channel because, as I say, I don’t see any reason to suffer in this way.
Mom, I’m just kidding. You can unpause it now.
I don’t feel the need to do any of this.
Here’s why. Every year, there’s a story that plays out inside my head and melts my heart.
The story reminds me of what Jesus experienced. And it does so in a painfully personal way.
I’ll let you see the story on Wednesday.
If you decide to watch it, pick your time and place with care. I’m not kidding now.
It’s not a Mel Gibson movie. But it’s about the making of a brave heart.
Peace to you.
James is live
In case you missed it, a few days ago I posted James on the Casual English Bible. I have one more map to add today. Next week I’ll add the leader’s guide and atlas as a PDF download.
James is a wonderful book. Five fast-paced chapters you can read in a few minutes. It’s probably the one book in the Bible that is the most fun to read. But that’s just my opinion.
Winners of free books
- Ed Jones
- Jonathan Attaway
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the winner: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.
It’s funny how the meaning of words change over time and some are simply dropped from use. I have no doubt who’s handy work this is.