To abandon something means to stop supporting or
looking after it. Synonyms for the word are: desert,
leave, renounce, and or ditch.
Lent is a time to acknowledge our broken ways and
the need for God’s mercy.
With these thoughts in mind, our theme this year is
to Abandon Lent.
Wait. I’m confused. Adam, are you telling us to walk
away from Lent? To give up Lent like we give up
chocolate during the season of intentional solemnity
full of self denial?
Yes! And no!
It is a poor attempt at a play on words.
Already the conversation has started for us as we
think about what it would mean to give up Lent this
year. We know the season is a time of
self-reflection and penitence, prayer and fasting,
self-denial and preparation for resurrection.
Abandoning Lent works in two ways.
First—if we are honest, Lent can be a dangerous
time. People come to the church looking for
discipline and a new way to live; they come to be
challenged—prepared for the heartache and joy of the
cross to come. The fallacy of Lent, and what we need
to abandon, can occur when we contain the season to
six weeks of intentionality and introspection rather
than building a Lent that becomes a life.
To abandon Lent then is a call to resist the
temptation of only practicing our faith and not
Second—to abandon Lent means to truly confront and
then abandon those practices that prevent us from
true community—union not only with God and with our
neighbors, but also with ourselves. To do this, we
may need to abandon the familiarly of the fellowship
on Sunday morning and follow Jesus down the path of
introspection—to those places we have abandoned
within ourselves. It is dangerous to meet Jesus in
the dark places, to ask the same questions of
ourselves that Jesus asks of his disciples, to
accept Jesus’ radical touch. In these moments of
utter truth and honesty, we find ourselves
vulnerable enough to connect with the risen Christ
as never before.
What is awaiting us is a journey. One that leads us
into the deserted wilderness and through the garden
of grief and up the mountain of debilitating pain
only to end up at the empty tomb where we are
greeted with the good news that life is ours. My
hope as your pastor is that you will join me in this
season of abandonment. That together we will abandon
Lent and discover what Christ meant when he said,
“That I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I
am in you.”
After all, this is the journey of Easter, the
pilgrimage of our faith. For 46 days we move beyond
the shadow of our egos so the light of Christ that
opened a tomb can open our eyes to the astonishing
realization that we are in him, and thus in God and
each other, and that, as Lady Julian said, all is
[Adam Quine, pastor of First Presbyterian Church