Today my church participated in something very scandalous. We held a celebration of music right in the middle of the Lenten season. I was concerned that we demonstrated too much joy in the middle of a time in the church year that is considered contemplative and introspective. Where we showing the appropriate sense of reverence? Did we cross the line?
The answers to my questions seemed to appear right before my eyes. I started listening to the amazing texts of the songs that led to amazing revelations in how and why we practice our faith. What amazing teachers of our worship. There is a sense of joy and good news regarding why we do what we do. The musical texts proclaim that in Christ there is freedom, there is expression, and there is hope.
I seem to hear the answer to my question in the form of a question. “Why not serve the Lord in joy?” “Who am I to determine when to be contemplative or when to be joyful?” These songs make a bold statement. They reflect the idea that even during our deepest moments of searching for our faith, we can still give thanks with joy and gratitude.
Lent does not diminish our joy. It accentuates it. It highlights that God still moves in our lives throughout the deepest and darkest of times. Through it all, and I mean all, it is okay to express our joy. Nothing, not even a season, can diminish the light that is within us. To not be able to share our strength and our hope is to deny our wholeness. We lose our authenticity.
Let us remember to share our reasons for giving thanks throughout this time of Lent. May our worship lead to bolder expressions of our faith. Throughout all seasons of the church calendar we should remember the greatness of God and the gift of life that we are given. I hope that we embrace the truth that lives within us every moment of every day.