A Question, a Gift, and a Summons

Walter Brueggemann

Lent is a question, a gift, and a summons.

The questions of Lent are:
What are we doing? Are we working for that which does not satisfy? Are we spending for that which is not bread?

The gifts of Lent are free, gifts in the gospel that sustain life: free wine and milk, free water and bread, and all the markings of sacrament that refuse our thin attempts at empire.

The summons of Lent is to bear new fruit. Do what is in sync with the God of the gospel, the God who has another intention for our lives, who wants us out of the rat race of “big is better” and so has mercy, who gives us pardon when we do not do enough by doing two things at once.

We are left with a new sense of ourselves as God’s people: no longer working for that which does not satisfy; receiving good gifts that we need for life; engaging in a new productivity of that which heals and transforms.

from A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent, p. 11.