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Why Do We Keep Time?

I had a wonderful time visiting with Caroline Breard’s third grade class at Dunham. She asked me to come talk about what Lent means. So I asked the children how long before their birthdays they actually started thinking about their birthdays. Some said a month, some said all year! I asked the same about Christmas. We agreed that anticipating a celebration makes it all the better.  
Every spring, Christ’s people celebrate his resurrection. But for centuries and centuries, we’ve been making plans to think more about Jesus before Easter. We get ready to celebrate by taking more time to think about his life and death.  
We also talked about football games (how can you not in Baton Rouge???). They agreed that a great game is not a 72-0 blow out against a junior college. A great game is a close struggle. The greatest games include come backs, when it looked like all was lost. That’s why we think about Jesus’ death before we celebrate his resurrection. It was the greatest struggle of all time. And it looked like the game was over when Jesus died. But then in the most wonderful surprise, the Father raised Jesus. The more we think about his ministry and his dying, the more joy we have at Easter.
These are sharp kids. They got it. We get it too. We keep time with Jesus during Lent so that we can join our story to his story. So his victory over death can be our victory.
I’m so proud of you when I think how you are pressing in close to Jesus this Lent. Connecting psalms with events in Jesus’ life, and praying alongside him takes energy, imagination and discipline. But you’re doing it! As an early Easter arrives at the end of this month, keep preparing, dear church. We’re going to have quite a celebration.
You’ll want to plan now for the fun of Palm Sunday, March 24, the deep passion of the Service of Shadows on March 28, and the release of Easter joy on March 31. I love being your pastor, especially at this time of year.