This past Monday as I looked over the many lenten readings in my email (maybe too many, but that is a discussion for another day) one especially caught my attention, “Forced Spirituality.” The writer begins with an account of a comedian being asked to rewrite a very funny script to include a character not in the original script, owning a hot dog stand, also not in the original script, and something funny about hot dogs. The writer goes on to say, “I’m no comedian, but being forced into anything, let alone being forced to make someone laugh, seems impossible and awkward.” And then asks about “being forced to be spiritual.”
He suggests. “All joking aside, spirituality cannot be forced. And we certainly can’t be forced into taking on someone else’s.”
I fear that is how many take on spiritual disciplines, perhaps especially during this Lenten season. We hear, “if you want to do the right thing for Lent, you should refrain from this or that, not eat such and so, and by the way start doing this particular spiritual discipline, this exact way.”
Rather than merely copying another’s practice, let us open ourselves to hear what others have done, notice how the Spirit has opened new depths for them, and then ask ourselves (and the Spirit) what will help us move toward living each day more fully a resident of the Kingdom of God.
You can find the full text of the Credo reading at –