Sydney Avey

Dynamic Women — Changing Times

The Relevance of Faith: Observing Lent

Mar 10, 2019 | Culture, Faith | 0 comments

religious training

Because the relevance of faith is under siege in our culture, I’m attending a lecture series titled What’s Happening in 21st Century Religion. Rabbi David Rosenburg shares his thoughts with a mixed audience that includes Christians, Jews, and atheists of both conservative and liberal persuasions. This diversity suits my purpose, which is to determine what people are thinking these days about the role of religion and faith in their lives.

The rabbi’s delivery comes across like irreverent stand-up comedy. He moves from topic to topic at dizzying speed, occasionally pausing to offer a thought for his diverse audience to ponder.  The gist of his position seems to be that the only way to establish a moral code of behavior is to present it as a commandment from a diety and teach it to your children.

What’s happening in the 21st century? The rabbi fears the consequences of neglecting our children’s religious education. “It’s hard to believe there’s a God in our technical age,” he said. Because a moral society is necessary to sustain a safe world, losing our religion should concern everyone.

Lent: There’s an app for that!

A healthy faith benefits from periods of contemplation of God’s will and purpose for our lives. Fasting is supposed to help that process. I wasn’t raised to observe Lent. Even so, spending less time devouring the news and more time in daily Bible reading and guided meditation seems good. To that end, I’ve discovered that the same technology that distracts our kids, possibly to the detriment of their developing moral conscience, also has some nifty faith-building applications.

  1. Our pastor at Christ Church is basing his sermon series on the Revised Common Lectionary, a list of daily Bible readings. As it turns out, there’s an app for that! Find the list at https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu If you load the calendar feature on your iCal, Google Calendar, or Outlook, links to each day’s reading will appear on your calendar.
  2. Discover other Bible reading plans on YouVersion an app that links you to a host of Lenten daily devotionals.
  3. Encounter is a refreshing 15-minute daily podcast of sacred and mindful meditations that encourage stillness and a sense of divine presence. Whatever is bothering me fades away as I listen to this faith-affirming audio. 

May God strengthen your faith in this season.

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