Teenagers and Ash Wednesday

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For those of you that don’t keep up with the liturgical calendar, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of the Lent season. The 40 (or 46 depending on if you count Sundays) day period in which we, as believers, contemplate our need for redemption and repentance.

Lent, as a tradition, has incredible depth. It has its place. It has its meaning. But for some reason, over the years, I’ve noticed that Ash Wednesday has become the day in which scores of American teenagers will commit to giving up their social media accounts, coffee, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, or Netflix for a month.

Why? Because the overarching message of Ash Wednesday, although not intentional, can become – We’ve got to give up some  things, let some things go, or “sacrifice” some things in order to earn God’s approval.

We don’t.

Its as if without even trying, we’ve unintentionally let the message of Lent be a message of sin management.

It’s not.

Parents, this year, spend some time during Lent talking to your teenagers about grace. Spend some time talking to them about how no matter what we give up, let go off, or “sacrifice” – we don’t have to earn God’s approval. Once we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, He can’t love us any more or any less. 

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