March 3, 2016
After celebrating the birth of Christ through the Christmas season and the celebration of the recognition of His combined divinity and humanity during Epiphany, the church enters a penitential season called Lent.
During Lent, Christians are called to reflect on the sacrifices Christ made for us, the ultimate sacrifice being His death on the cross. Some Christians practice fasting during Lent, others give up something they enjoy, still others take up a special discipline such as a special Bible study during Lent. The purpose is not to compare themselves to the incomparable Christ, but to remove themselves from distractions and to reflect on the grace we have been given.
As we prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection, I encourage you to spend some extra time with Scripture, whether as a special Lenten discipline or as a regular part of your daily worship.
Consider these questions:
1. Is there a habit or a sin that repeatedly gets in the way of my life with and in Christ?
2. What are some things in my life that I say that I need, but I really don't? Can I give them up? Or will I give them up?
3. How can I engage myself in Spiritual discipline?
4. When I wake up on Easter Morning, how am I different?
5. How do I want Lent to affect me beyond 40 days? 40 weeks? 40 years?
To me, Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV) is an excellent Lenten-time Scripture that answers all five of the above questions. It not only admonishes us in our worrying, something we should give up, but reminds us to rely on God, whether 40 days, 40 weeks or 40 years from now.
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
One more question; what lessons from Scripture answer the above questions for you?
God bless and guide you to His glorious resurrection during this season of Lent.