Heading into the Lenten season always brings up questions for me.
Like if I give up chocolate for 6 weeks, will Jesus know I love him more?
Does is it really make a difference to Him?
Or maybe because He loves me so much, maybe what He really wants me to do is
EAT chocolate every day...you know... to celebrate Him.
Because that sounds way better than giving anything up.
Who really needs Lent anyway? Let's just get to Easter and let the celebrating begin.
These are the things I say to myself.
But I have decided that Lent has nothing to do with Jesus.
He doesn't need me to give up anything.
Lent has everything to with me and the state of my heart.
It is a physical reminder that Jesus already gave up everything.
On my behalf. On your behalf. On behalf of the ones that He so desperately loves.
We need to remember this. It seems impossible that we could ever forget it.
How is it so easy for me to move through my day without remembering
whose grace and mercy I am breathing in and out?
Why do I struggle to find time in to pray and
talk to the One who loves me most of all?
What could be so important in my life that I can arrive at the end of my day
without acknowledging the God of Universe and what He has done on my behalf?
I don't know.
I think mostly it is because I am broken.
My heart doesn't work the way it should most of the time.
My brain is crowded with thoughts and plans and dreams and sorrows
and I am so caught up in the mess of it that I can't see my way clear to the One
who brings order out of chaos.
My life is so full that somehow I can't find a moment to spare to fling myself into
the arms of the One who came to give me life.
Lent doesn't have to be a religious practice.
It can simply be a jumping off place into the question,
Where are you at and where is He at?
Followed by the life changing thought,
"Whom the Son has set free....is free indeed. Did you forget that?"
We may have drifted a little of course, gotten distracted or have felt the
darkness of life closing in, but now is the time to nestle in.
It is time for you and me to break into an all out run
straight into the arms of the One who can put our entire world to rights
and set our feet on the path of grace.
Lent isn't about giving up chocolate or self loathing or condemnation.
I'm pretty sure Jesus could care less about any of those things.
It is simply a physical reminder to check ourselves spiritually.
It is a kick in the pants to get us into a place of right thinking.
It is a shucking of things that don't matter and immersing ourselves in things that
are so powerful and lovely that they have shaped the world as we know it.
It is turning our face towards the light and drinking it in.
It is saying one more time to Jesus,
"I know what You did for me.
I know that You love me.
And I am going to love You back."
It is repentance and regeneration and relief
knowing that we are wholly and fully accepted in spite of ourselves.
Even though our brokenness keeps showing up.
It is remembering how amazing Jesus was and is and
wallowing the incredible fact that He was willing to give up everything
so that we could be free.
So that we might have life and live it to the full.
It is a full blown love fest.
I don't know about you......but I want in on it.