We’re a week and a half into Lent. How’s your Lenten Practice going? Have you not done it perfectly? I encourage you to take any guilt or shame about that and hand it over to God. Guilt and shame are not the point of these practices. Attention and focus on our relationship with God is the point.
I’ve been noticing the word “perfect” in our liturgies and readings this Lent. And I want to remind you that the sort of perfect talked about there is not the same as how we use it in daily language when we want “perfect hair” or “perfect boiled eggs” or a “perfect life.” The greek word often translated as perfect is τέλειοι (téleioi). Rather than “just right/without blemish” it means something more like “complete” or “fully grown” or even “as intended.”
So when you hear our offertory sentence, hear, “so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and just as intended.”
And consider your Lenten Practice with this new understanding. How is your Lenten Practice going? Is it working as intended? Whether or not you are doing the exact thing, with the exact amount of time and intention as you originally desires — is your spiritual practice doing the work it was intended to do? Is it reminding you of God more often? Is it calling you to greater faithfulness? Then your practice is moving towards perfection.
Thanks be to God.