Nothing worse than a drama queen right? like a train wreck we slow down our cars to watch them on reality t.v., hollywood award shows, or perhaps we get to enjoy a live show at work or on campus. they wear their emotions on their sleeve. well i suppose its just one emotion. they are upset and they want to make sure everyone knows. In fact the dirty little secret is that they like being upset!
I love Ash Wednesday and i love Lent, yet how quickly we can make the season a melodramatic t.v. miniseries! It begins with ashes on our foreheads as we walk out of church and are greeted by so and so at the gas pump or our neighbor at the grocery. Look at me with my ashes! i’m reallllllly sorrrrry. i’m succcchhhh a sinnnnner. I remember one member telling me with shock how someone asked him what was on his forehead. “they didn’t even know what it was pastor! can you believe it?!” he exclaimed. Of course he either didn’t explain it to the innocent bystander or he simply said, “well its for ash wednesday! haven’t you ever heard of it?!”
If you get your ash in church this wednesday please wipe it off when you leave the building unless you plan on sharing its meaning and Good news of Jesus with everyone who sees you! Don’t just be a drama queen, parading your sorrow for all to see.
And then of course there is the helpful discipline of fasting and abstaining. I’m a big fan of both. Yet these spiritual disciplines can quickly turn into someone moaning about her desire for a Latte but of course, “i gave that up,” as she announces her piety to the room. Soon everyone is sharing what they did or did not give up and how hard it is. Ok Cinderellas.
Ah but i recently discovered my own drama queen tendencies! I’ve noticed that i love to tell God how sorry i am! I have been apologizing to God for something i did a little while ago. I’ve been so upset by it. At night time i cry out, “i’m sorry please forgive me.” on my 6 mile run i get frustrated and repeat over and over, “Lord have mercy.” Sounds good right. A broken and contrite heart o lord you will not despise!? Well don’t let me fool you. Ive been acting like a drama queen! My old adam bought into the false religion that somehow if i keep saying i’m sorry with emotion and desperation God will forgive me. no, actually i think that by saying it enough and being upset by it enough i’ll make up for it somehow. hell, i don’t even care if he forgives me, i just like to make a big show about it! Drama Queen! I am forgiven by the blood of Christ period! its done. shut up about it! stop going on and on. I screwed up. I’m forgiven. move on.
This Lent don’t concentrate on how much of a show you can make of your unworthiness, your sorrow and contriteness. you aren’t kidding anyone let alone God. yeah, you have really screwed up! With a word Christ forgives you! period. Not because you said you are sorry or because you demonstrated a degree of sorrow, but because He loves you!
Our Lord is no drama queen. we are given really no details of his Passion if you think about it. He didn’t moan and groan about how much we were hurting Him. He didn’t prolong his pain to make us feel really guilty. He was quiet and to the point. It is finished! He gave up His Spirit. That’s that! In a moment all of our sins were paid for!
If you are going to go on and on about something for all the world to see, how about going on and on about God’s mercy in Jesus Christ!