As a high school student I played trumpet in the pep band for our home basketball games. Every game one of the other trumpet players would let out with a trumpet call-“Da da da DA da da!” The crowd responded with an enthusiastic “CHARGE!!”
In this way the trumpeter energized the crowd and the crowd energized the team.
But I was never that bold trumpeter. I was afraid I’d hit the wrong notes, so I held back and left the energizer job to others.
Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent brings this memory of my timidity back to me because the opening words of the very first Bible reading for the Ash Wednesday service are “Blow the trumpet…”! (Joel 2:1)
This reads to me like a call for a strong
decisive act- a trumpet blast! The very next phrase emphasizes the urgency:
“Sound the alarm..”!
I’ve always thought of Lent as a time for silence not blasting trumpets; of prayer and introspection not activism. But those words of Joel suggest a call to get active, go public and be bold!
Therefore I have decided that this year during Lent I will still spend regular time in prayer and reflection while also taking bold actions.
One question often arising at this time is ‘What are you giving up for Lent?”
God helping me, I will give up the fear of making mistakes in public. I will give up the tendency to hold back and play it safe. I will give up silence when it’s time to speak. I will give up solitude when it’s time to go public. I will blow the trumpet when it’s time to sound the alarm!
Some may misinterpret my actions. Others may call me an alarmist. Hopefully many will join me because generations of people will suffer needlessly if I and others do not sound a warning as clearly and as boldly as we are able.
Climate change is real and growing more dangerous!
Humans are causing it!
God is not pleased!
Neighbor Love calls us to act decisively now!