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The title quote above, “Giving Up Selfies for Lent”, was the sermon title for Lent 1 at the large Methodist church across the street from the library where the mission meets.  

Now I suspect that the preacher was not simply talking about the new practice of using cell phone cameras and taking pictures of yourself, usually with your friends.  Giving up selfies one can do (but then again…).  Maybe the preacher used it as example of the need of giving up the self for Lent.  If so, what about the other 325 days of the year?   

The Lord does not teach about “giving up selfies/self”, but denying the self and finally it, the self, the Old Adam, needs to be killed, crucified, (Matthew 16:24)  and buried and raised.  It has been in Baptism:  see Romans 6:3-5 and Colossians 2:11-13;   Galatians 2:20. The Apostle’s encouragement is,

” So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)

When the rich young man( Matthew 19: 16-26) wanted to follow Jesus, the Lord said to him,  Sell all that you have and come follow Me.  And the rich young man went away sorrowful for he was rich. He, we, all tenaciously hold  on to the self by virtue of the number 1 idol on earth, wealth. He couldn’t crucify that passion but Jesus could and did.  As He said the disciples, With God all things are possible.

Saying that I gave up “selfies” or whatever is just watered down law.  The return to Baptism is confession.  To say we have no sin is to deceive ourselves, but if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just and will forgive our sin.  (1 John 1:  8-11).  Confession is done in three ways:  private prayer, public prayer of confession in the Liturgy and one on one with your pastor, but it is one Word of confession and absolution which kills the sin and makes you alive in Christ. 

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