Texts: Matthew 6:1-6,16-21, 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10
Good evening, and blessed Lent. It is good to gather with you. Last night this room was buzzing, as we hosted our neighbors from Dar al Hijrah to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Thank you to everyone who brought ingredients and toppings, and who lent their equipment and their time and gifts to make it happen. It was a village effort, and the warmth in this room was a sign of how we as neighbors are connected, across culture, race, language and faith. “We are not good at fasting,” Jane said, as she explained Fat Tuesday to our guests, “but we are good at eating fat, and we’re glad you’re with us.”
And why should we be good at fasting? We have wondered together, most recently in Adult Forum this Sunday. Shouldn’t grace be sufficient for us? Until about 3pm today I had a sermon prepared to address this question. But with the news of another school shooting just this afternoon, perhaps the question is not why we bring ourselves to penitence, but how our faith speaks to us when we find ourselves already there.