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Lent isn’t quite over. For some of us, it feels like Ash Wednesday was only yesterday. Yet, for others, Lent may seem like the most protracted liturgical slog in history. We want it to be over. When will Holy Week be here? I’m calling for patience. A Holy Lent can still be found, even in these waning days. If we stop, take stock, find the energy for one more deep breath, and look around, we might realize how far we’ve come and the potential for changing our lives in Holy Week. We cannot take these last few days of Lent for granted. How do we make the most of the time remaining? Instead of practicing further acts of self-denial, we can make an act of pilgrimage. We can resolve to live more like Jesus. We can follow in Jesus’ footsteps as we round the dusty corners toward the Mount of Olives and prepare for Lent’s conclusion. We can be more like Jesus.

  1. Find and confront your local Pharisees. Do your best to challenge the religious status quo. Start using parables and rabbinic wisdom like John Wick wields Japanese jujitsu to knock down the religiously inspired hypocrisy, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
  2. Spend time with sinners. Seek them out wherever you can find them. Share the expansive love of God with people the church would prefer to exclude.
  3. Bring God outside the Temple (Church). Whether you’re in the checkout line, the gas station, on a walk, or anywhere other than the church: bring God, a smile, and a willingness to listen to others with you. That’s what Jesus did.
  4. Have your character and conduct attacked by other religious people. Jesus was always on someone’s poop roster.
  5. Know the value of a small group, Christian community, friendship, and fellowship. When the chips are down, those people are going to be the ones who pull you through.

–Richard Bryant