September 27. I wrote it down. September 27 was the day that I first noticed Christmas decorations filling the shelves of a Wal-Mart. The outdoor section where I would have found my grilling supplies had been removed, and on September 27, instead of the charcoal I was looking for, I found ornaments and trees.
With an opening like that, I’ll probably find that charcoal in my stocking this Christmas.
You see, Wal-Mart is prepared. No, they won’t be hurrying Thanksgiving night to change over into the new season. They will do it well in advance to be prepared.
In the same manner, I’m going to talk about Lent today. I know, I know, Advent isn’t even here yet, but I’m going to talk about it anyhow. Besides, that’s the beauty of being Lutheran. We celebrate Easter every Sunday! We hear Christ crucified for our sins every time we gather. We receive Him in the waters of Baptism and in the body and blood He shed for us in Holy Communion.
Lutherans sometimes give something up for Lent. From www.lcms.org:
Q: Do Lutherans have to give up something for Lent as some other denominations require?
A: From the perspective of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, “giving something up for Lent” is entirely a matter of Christian freedom. It would be wrong, from our perspective, for the church to make some sort of “law” requiring its members to “give something up for Lent,” since the Scriptures themselves do not require this. If, on the other hand, a Christian wants to give something up for Lent as a way of remembering and personalizing the great sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for our sins, then that Christian is certainly free to do so—as long as he or she does not “judge” or “look down on” other Christians who do not choose to do this.
But for those who do give something up, we sometimes forget about it and make the decision on what we are going to go without the Tuesday night before Ash Wednesday. Or even more often, we forget completely, and a few days after Ash Wednesday we think to ourselves, “What haven’t I done since Wednesday that I can continue the rest of Lent?”
So this blog post is to be prepared! How about this Lent we Read Like a Lutheran? One great idea is to dive into the Book of Concord, and read it this Lent. Give up 30 minutes of your time every day to read. Our Lutheran Confessions are an accurate and honest confession of what scripture teaches, and they are so beautiful when you dive into them.
This Lent, consider giving up a little time every day to dive into the Book of Concord! (If you don’t have one, I might suggest picking up Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, second edition.) Follow the attached reading guide for a forty-day leap into the Lutheran Confessions!
Download Reading Guide
Joe Willmann serves as Senior Instructional Designer for Concordia Publishing House.