Thursday, March 23, 2017
Jer. 7:23-28; Ps. 95:6-11; Lk. 11:14-23; Matt. 6:7-15
As I understand the meaning of Lent, it is the season where Christians spend forty days in a variety of ways to focus themselves to acknowledge the sacrifice Christ made for the world.
As someone who was raised in church, I am truly humbled when I allow myself to think of the people in my life who sacrificed to show me Christ through their lives and, of course, the people who continue to do so. Obviously, our sacrificial giving is directly tied to what God did to send his son and what Christ did on the cross. Lent gives us a window in time to refocus our attention on Christ and away from the world.
I think it was as difficult then as it is now to acknowledge sacrifice when worldliness and pride cloud our hearts. The street people Christ hung out with knew they were lacking; they knew they were flawed. It was even reinforced by the establishment. Christ’s followers knew on a deep level they needed grace and understood sacrifice. Paradoxically, this allowed the Holy Spirit to flow through them and start the explosive church movement.
Maybe we’ve discounted the sacrifices that have been made in our lives. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge we are poor and needy, and like the first century church, we can play the role Christ calls us to do. My prayer for you and me is that we will use this year’s Lent to refocus our lives on the radical, sacrificial love we have all benefited from instead of allowing the world to draw us away. All of our faith journeys are the result of the sacrifices of many.