Today is Ash Wednesday ... the first day of Lent. This Sunday we'll be in Ecclesiastes 3:16-22 where the themes of injustice and eternal life will be highlighted. What, if anything, do these three things (Lent, injustice, eternal life) have to do with one another? That's the challenge for the Community church family this week!
Lent is the season leading up to Easter where we especially focus on our sin, our idolatrous pursuit of things in this life that don't/can't satisfy, our desperate need of Christ, and of the eternal life that is given in Christ. During Lent some folks often "give up" something as a reminder to themselves that whenever they begin to crave whatever that thing is, they are to deny themselves of the lesser satisfaction and seek again the greater joy and satisfaction that is found in Christ alone. During Lent we're clearly and boldly confronted with our own sinful hearts. These cravings that we deny ourselves of remind us of just how broken we are, how little we really desire Christ, how much we desire things other than Him, and how wickedness has taken the place of righteousness and justice even in our own hearts.
Yet we're also constantly reminded that we're working our way toward Easter ... the grand celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which secures for us life eternal. As sobering as seeing our sin can be, how glorious is it to know that we're forgiven in Christ ... we're redeemed by His blood ... we're given new life in union with Him ... we're now children of God entitled to all the blessings of the inheritance of Christ! We won't suffer the just consequences of our sin (death) because Jesus took our place on the cross; He suffered injustice so that we wouldn't face God's justice. Rather we enjoy the grace of eternal life in Jesus. How sweet is the taste of Jesus Christ as we come to Him, forsaking other stuff that we've used as cheap substitutes!
So during these next weeks leading up to Easter, let's examine our lives in light of the Gospel. Am I living as a child of God? How might I live in repentance and self-denial during this season? How might I better taste of Jesus? How can I make room in my life for friends and family who don't know Christ?
As a bonus, here are links to some Lent ideas -