This morning I started reading an(other) article about how the Internet is destroying our brains and rendering us incapable of paying sustained attention to anything for longer than 45 seconds, but I ended up musing about the honor of being called a sinner. An unlikely trajectory of reflection, perhaps, but I’ll try to explain myself.
Why do we eat soup during Lent? The question from a church member caught me a bit off guard as I was scrambling to get a few things together for a soup and bread Lenten lunch that our church was hosting last week. I don’t remember exactly how I responded. I think I vaguely gestured toward Lent being a season for embracing self-discipline and simplicity.
“You know, in Germany there are hordes of young Syrian men raping German women.” The statement hovered in the air menacingly. I suspected that I was in for an interesting encounter as I watched him stride determinedly toward me after I gave a presentation on the Syrian refugee crisis, and how a group I'm part of has sponsored two families now living in our town in Canada, at a local church recently. His jaw was set and his brow was furrowed.
To err is human, Alexander Pope famously said in his Essay on Criticism. Yes, it certainly is. And the more experience I have with this being human business, the more evidence I am afforded of this unpleasant truth.
The season of Lent is about self-examination and repentance, so I decided to grit my teeth and take a bit of an erring inventory.