Lent is a time of self denial, prayer, renewal and preparation for Holy Week. It is a 40 day journey that we each take in different ways. Some know nothing of it and others do. Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying before beginning his ministry on earth. I believe that before we do anything we need to spend time in prayer, in fasting and in self denial. When we do this we are taking the world OUT of our lives and putting God in. By that I mean that our daily living does not become our focal point-rather-Jesus Christ becomes that focal point. It is only when we remove the things that clutter our lives that we are able to hear God more clearly. It is a journey to the foot of the cross where we lay down ourselves and we pick up Christ.
Have you started your journey?
St. Martin’s Church in Germany
Some thoughts on Lent…
During the season of Lent we are called to remember, repent and renew. As I recall what Jesus did for me I close my eyes and think of the many things he did while here on earth. He came to show us how to live and love the way God planned it out. He lived among the people, he told stories, he ate with them, he healed, taught and preached. When he needed to be alone-he went away by himself. His disciples were his mission team and he spent most of his time with them teaching, preaching, praying and rebuking them. He always loved them-no matter what. Even when Peter denied him three times-Jesus still loved Peter. Even when they fell asleep on their watch he still loved them. Even when the soldiers beat him to shreds…he continued to love through the blows and the searing pain and eventually the death. Unconditional love is just that- nothing attached. I will love you no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. It is incomprehensible. Only God can love like that and He does. We cannot understand it, but we can certainly embrace the love that he pours over us. That’s all he wants from us-is for us to love him back. Easy – peasey-lemon- squeezey-right? It’s harder than it sounds!
In order to love Him fully we must give up our self. We must say ” what does GOD want” instead of “what do I want?” We have to look to God for answers, not man. When we have a desire, we have to pray that our desires become what God desires, not what we do. It’s all about that intimate relationship with the Father. It’s a two way relationship that goes up and down and side to side. It is two arms agonizingly stretched tight across a wooden cross with two legs severely pierced to the rough hewn log that God planted and grew just for this purpose. It is the eyes of love looking down on his abusers and mockers saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It is love poured out, for all, from a source with no end. It is the love of a Father for His children. Not just one child-but all children of every size, shape and color. It is a love that has been growing since the beginning of the world. God continues to yearn for us-never giving up, never leaving us behind and always saying, ” come on, you can do it!” Our heavenly coach, who sits on the sidelines waiting for us to see Him cheering. When we do, our eyes light up and we grin and we run ever faster toward the goal saying, “watch me Dad!” I can’t wait to get there and score the winning point! How about you?
I am so excited about what God is doing!