today was ash wednesday for those of you out there following the church calendar a little more than you are following the primary calendar. do you know off the top of your head what lent is actually about? i have to admit that i didn't at first thought, beyond leading up to easter.
lent celebrates the 40 days that Jesus went off into the desert fasting, praying, and being tempted by the devil. dostoyevsky saw huge significance in the three temptations, and how they signified the major temptations we face. and how, for the most part, the church has fallen to all three of them. that's not the point of this post, but if you're interested check out The Grand Inquisitor, or if you're slightly more ambitious The Brothers Karamazov, which is where it's from. It's way better in context anyway. i cannot recommend a book more highly. but i digress.
there is some degree of irony in the fact that this comes the day after super tuesday. Jesus was quite the interesting political figure--but i don't know enough about that yet. a lot of people followed Jesus' example and followed Jesus out into the desert, living a monastic life. this political season makes that especially tempting! but after the temptation he came back into the world and ministered. in Luke 4 he receives the Spirit of the Lord in order to really change things--to heal the sick, to give sight to the blind, to preach the good news.
comparing that to any sort of political leader is just so silly. i have always wanted to just reject politics, and in a lot of ways i still do. but that is not to reject social reform. this is a key distinction. why do we feel that we need to do this through the political system? sometimes i wonder if europeans care more about politics because that is all they really have to put their hope in for social change. the states still have many religious organizations doing a lot of charity and social work. but that's a bit beside the point. is it worth the time and energy to engage in politics for such slow and little change? can't it be more worthwhile elsewhere? is it more of a stand for change not to vote (democratic heresy!!!)? did Jesus rally for a good caesar? or a better king of the jews than herod antipas? or do we follow our own way? thoughts?
another observation: i noticed romney carried 90% of utah. and hilary is doing very well among women voters, and obama among the blacks, and huckabee among conservative christians. do we even care about the issues at all? some of those allegiances have to do with policy (generally one or two issues only), but really--can we take this election seriously if this is the way we decide who to vote for?