Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Bachelor, Happiness, Lent, and Holiness

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:15-16
I was "outed" a few weeks ago in a church service which revealed  I watch the "reality" show The Bachelor (if you stop reading at this point I won't blame you). I stand by my statement that I watch this show purely because I love my wife who watches the show. There are many elements about this show that make my head and heart hurt. As you might know toward the end of the season the bachelor meets some of the girls' family. Watching this episode I noticed the contrast between those families who's aim was their daughter's lasting marriage relationship and those who's primary concern was their daughter's happiness.
Unfortunately in our society the highest pursuit in life is happiness. Yet, as we've all learned, happiness is relative and fleeting. More lasting and our deeper craving is God's call to holiness. Happiness points beyond itself to something greater and that is holiness.
Thus Ash Wednesday and Lent can help in our journey toward holiness. Ash Wednesday service and the 40-day season Lent can seem solemn with the themes of repentance and examination. Though seemingly at odds with happiness and holiness, Lent's themes are important steps toward holiness. Holiness often gets a bad rap. Holiness is neither a badge of self-righteousness nor following legalistic rules. Holiness is certainly not a solemn pursuit either. Rather, holiness is about pursuing God personally and corporately. Holiness is more than a solitary effort, it is a communal endeavor. It is through holiness that we get glimpses and foretaste of joy which far surprises temporary and fleeting happiness.  
Just in case you need a refresher for Lent, checkout:
What do you see as the difference between happiness and holiness?  Which are you aiming for?
What Lenten practice of giving up or taking on something new will you try?

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