March Madness

My birthday celebrations this weekend have included seeing some extraordinary NCAA basketball.  We saw four regional games yesterday in Greensboro, N.C. that some have called the best series in NCAA history.  Upsets.  Buzzer beaters.  Stunning victories.  Heart-wrenching losses.  But, hey, it’s just basketball.

The March Madness that really matters involves Syria, Kony, Europe’s Debt Crisis, The Global Water Crisis, Sudan . . .

The list of world crises are endless.  And so in the throes of suffering, we in the Christian tradition, find ourselves in the middle of Lent.  The March Madness for church leaders involve expansive Lenten schedules – extra Bible studies, extra worship services, extra responsibilities with that voice in the back of our minds reminding us that Easter Is Coming and we are considering that all-important Holy Week schedule and a bang-up Easter sermon.

The best kind of Lenten observances involve the world around us.  Sometimes it feels like madness:  the distracting busy-ness, the eye-glazing videos from the most violent places on our planet, the compassion fatigue.

Our calling is about inserting glimpses of the kingdom of God into this madness which will continue past the month of March.  The NCAA finals will be played on Holy Monday – April 2.  Between now and then, and long afterwards,  there will be Upsets.  Buzzer beaters.  Stunning victories.  Heart-wrenching losses.  We have a lot of work to do.

Image is of the Notre Dame mascot.

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