We all know someone who’s all about “me, me, me.” Do you sometimes wish you could just say to them “it is not all about you” and they would get it? Well what if you could show them?
The forty days leading up to Easter is a season on the church calendar called Lent. It is a time of year when we focus on self-examination. You might even think of it as the xray-the-kid-who-swallowed-a-Lego season. And though most of us, thankfully, are Lego-free, United Methodists spend forty days looking inside ourselves to figure out what is going on.
The basic idea with Socrates’ observation that “the unexamined life is not worth living” is that people should look within to discover the true value of life. We may not always be eager to examine ourselves because we may be afraid of what we might find. And when we do notice our shortcomings, we need to find new ways to live.
One of the ways we equip people to begin living differently is by encouraging one another to give something up, or make a sacrifice for those forty days. Somebody might give up coffee; someone else might forego meat; somebody else might forego celebrity tabloids. These small sacrifices help us to explore what happens when we’re not all about “me.”
The church aids in this journey of self-discovery by helping people to notice the places that need to be treated and introducing them to living a life patterned after Jesus Christ. It is a journey that leads to a single Sunday—the one right before Easter, that we call Palm Sunday—when Jesus’ popularity is at its peak. But it’s about to take a pretty big hit. This is the week when Jesus goes from being hailed by the masses to his death on a cross. For centuries, this Sunday has started a week when Jesus’ last days are remembered. And his journey appears to come to a close on Friday.
Sunday, though—Easter Sunday—is when we celebration Jesus rising from the dead, making new life available to each one of us.
The story we celebrate isn’t one about “me, me, me.” It’s not “all about you.”
Or is it?