Tag Archive: Nadia Bolz-Weber

as i lie on my bed, i have an ash cross crudely drawn upon my forehead.


i have never celebrated Lent before.

and i don’t intend to start now.

at least i didn’t.

in fact last nite when our housemate Aaron announced that he was giving up coffee and liquor for Lent [just before having a tot of coffee liquer with us to see in his time of fasting] it was yet again for me a moment of, ‘Oh, it’s that time again.’

i have wanted to try it before but it always comes upon me too quickly and then suddenly with a flourish it’s there and i’m left saying things like, ‘Well, maybe next year.’


tonite Aaron invited me to a service and altho i don’t think i would have been typically amped, something inside of me knew that this was something i really wanted to do

i’ve been feeling disconnected from God lately and really wanting to get more disciplined in my prayer and reading and so spending some time in a service focusing on the time leading up to Easter sounded like just the right thing

it ended up not really even being a service, but more a gathering,

ten of us sitting in a circle, mostly older people,

talking about what people were thinking about giving up for lent, reading some liturgy and then,

turning off all the lights and sitting in the glow of some candles as we went around the room,

each person dipping their finger in to a mix of the remains of the palm branches from palm sunday which had been burned down,

and some olive oil to make a paste,

and then making a cross on the person’s forehead next to you, while speaking these words:

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”


actually i will have to go with ‘Invitation’ cos one of my friends already told me he was giving up being challenged by my blog for Lent

Matt, whose church we were at for this meeting handed around a piece of paper with 40 suggestions on it:

at the top of the sheet it reads ‘House for All Sinners and Saints’ which i’m fairly sure is Nadia Bolz-Weber’s church

followed by 40 days and 40 suggestions of things to do to observe Lent

things such as:

‘No complaints day’ 

Don’t turn on the car radio

Educate yourself about human trafficking http://www.praxus.org

Look out of the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before

and so i have decided that i am going to observe Lent by compiling a list of similiar things

using some of them and coming up with some of my own [and open to suggestions]

and i would like to invite you to join me in this 

if you are going to give it a try, simply leave your name as a comment below and say i am in

40 days – 40 postings of simple challenges

to connect with God and to love people and to view the world differently

and just a heads up that day 1 is pray for your enemies

day 40 is pray for your enemies [you probably have new ones by now] and then decide which of these exercises you will keep for good


maybe invite a friend to join you or your home group and do this together

maybe even come up with your own list

We finished off the evening with these prayers:

Gracious God,

our sins are too heavy to carry,

too real to hide,

and too deep to undo.

Forgive what our lips tremble to name,

what our hearts can no longer bear,

and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgement.

Set us free from a past we cannot change;

open us to a future in which we can be changed;

and grant us grace to grow in Your likeness and image;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

followed by the Assurance of Forgiveness Prayer:

May Almighty God

who of great mercy has promised to forgive all who truly repent and in true faith turn unto the Lord,

strengthen you in all goodness and bring you at last into the fullness of everlasting life,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We departed into the season of Lent with these final words:

Go forth on your journey of following Jesus,

strong in the face of afflictions,

speaking truth,

and knowing that you are loved well by God.

Go in peace. Amen.

May this time be more than simply a thing you are giving up… may that all mean something far deeper…
Enjoy. We celebrate together.

[To begin the 40 days of Lent observance with us, click here]


Eugene Cho writes [and speaks] a great piece on the Lent season over here.

pastrix I“Jesus didn’t look very impressive at Easter,” I said, “not in the churchy sense, and certainly not if Mary Magdalene mistook him for a gardener.” [Nadia Bolz-Weber, ‘Pastrix – the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner turned saint’]

i am busy reading ‘Pastrix’ by Nadia Bolz-Weber, unlikely, heavily-tattooed Lutheran pastor and while i don’t necessarily agree with everything she says, for the most part it has been a challenging and refreshing read and the bits i don’t necessarily agree with are for the most part areas of following Jesus’ness that i continue to wrestle with and try to figure out – this is a book worth reading.

and this extract from her chapter titled ‘Dirty fingernails’ will hopefully give you some idea as to why:

‘As I looked out over the shivering crowd, I suggested that perhaps Mary Magdalene thought the resurrected Christ was a gardener because Jesus still had the dirt from His own tomb under His nails. Of course, the depictions in churches of the risen Christ never show dirt under His nails; they make Him look more like a wingless angel than a gardener. It’s as if He needed to be cleaned up for Easter visitors so He looked more impressive and so no one would be offended by the truth. But then what we all end up with is a perverted idea of what resurrection looks like. My experience, however, is that the God of Easter is a God with dirt under His nails.

Resurrection never feels like being made clean and nice and pious like in those Easter pictures. I would have never agreed to work for God if I had believed God was interested in trying to make me nice or even good. Instead, what I subconsciously knew, even back then, was that God was never about making me spiffy; God was about making me new.

New doesn’t always look perfect. Like the Easter story itself, new is often messy. New looks like recovering alcoholics. New looks like reconciliation between family members who don’t actually deserve it. New looks like every time I manage to admit I was wrong and every time I manage to not mention I was right. New looks like every fresh start and every act of forgiveness and every moment of letting go of what we thought we couldn’t live without and then somehow living without it anyways. New is the thing we never saw coming – never even hoped for – but ends up being what we needed all along.

“It happens to all of us,” I concluded that Easter Sunday morning. “God simply keeps reaching down into the dirt of humanity and resurrecting us from the graves we dig for ourselves through our violence, our lies, our selfishness, our arrogance, and our addictions. And God keeps loving us back to life over and over.”‘

[and then she finishes off this chapter with this piece]

‘There are times when I hear my name, turn, and recognise Jesus. There are times when faith feels like a friendship with God. But there are many other times when it feels more adversarial or even vacant. Yet none of that matters in the end. How we feel about Jesus or how close we feel to God is meaningless next to how God acts upon us. How God indeed enters into our messy lives and loves us through them, whether we want God’s help or not. And how, even after we’ve experienced some sort of resurrection, it’s never perfect or impressive like an Easter bonnet, because, like Jesus, resurrected bodies are always in rough shape.’

pastrix II

%d bloggers like this: