Thursday, March 03, 2022

03 March • Perfectionism

Lenten Snapshots 2022

As I did for Lent 2020 and Lent 2021, this year I'm blogging off and on to April Fiet's Lenten Snapshots. You can find all the prompts on the First Pres Scottsbluff website. Snapshots can be photos, drawings, songs, poems, prose, lists, food—though to post food you'll need a picture. You can blog, tweet, facebook, or "other," and there's a facebook for Lenten Snapshots.


To open Lent 2022, Perfect was the prompt for Ash Wednesday. With our Enlightenment heritage, contemporary Westerners often default to popular concepts and make perfect-perfectionism into a kind of behavioral, moral, and performative flawlessness. But Jesus of Nazareth's charge to his followers to be perfect [Matthew 5:48] uses the same root as teleological: to reach your goal, to become complete and fulfill God's dream for you, to "be all that you can be." That information must make many sigh with relief!

Famously for Charles Wesley, holiness, sanctification, and perfection essentially were the same. He believed humans could become perfect in this earthly life. For this Lent, for any time at all, we can claim God's command and promise (one and the same!) in Leviticus 19:2 – "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy." The chapter then summarizes the Ten Words of the Sinai Covenant that call us to justice, righteousness, and love. That's holiness! It's perfection! it's living God's dream for us and our communities!

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