Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lent, a journey towards greater things

The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." Abram went as the LORD directed him.


So many instances in Scripture we see that those who obey the will of the Lord are promised great things. These great things may not be of considerable value to this world, but they are great indeed. I envision this promise of God to Abram and imagine his enthusiasm and fear. I can almost feel his joy and his sorrow, his sense of obligation and his free will. It's as if this all exudes from his heart at the same time.

Doing the will of God is never an easy task. Following God's commands takes courage and strength, not found in ordinary human hearts. This type of strength only comes from God's grace. Exactly what we need is what we must ask for. Exactly what will pull us through is what we lack. Our work for God is only done by God through us. Ironic, isn't it?

That's a little bit of our journey through Lent. A lot of the sacrifices we may be making may not be easy to come by, but we get by on His grace. Our sacrifice only has meaning through His Sacrifice. So my fasting is empty and a mere diet if it is not joined with prayer. I must replace my being off of Facebook with an act of service, if not I risk this extra time being void of meaning. Sacrifice is empty without His Sacrifice. 

Lent is a time where we can join what we "give up" or "take on" with what Jesus gave up on this earth and what He took on: the Cross. These forty days lead up to a culmination where all our sacrifices are nailed on the Cross. We become privileged participants in something that has been done for us. We are no longer spectators. "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church." Col. 1:24

How amazing is God that He allows us to join our most puny little sacrifices to the greatest offering of all time? God never stops giving! He always gives us a chance to be a part of His greatness. To be holy as he is holy! He promises us, like He did Abram, greater things. Great things come with some form of renunciation. Every yes, comes with many no's.  

Abram left his homeland. In his yes, he renounced so much. We too are asked to leave our homeland of sorts: leave our comfort zones; forgo the pleasures we are so used to. We are even able to give up the things that we need and desire, such as food. All this, so that we may obtain a greater good. A supreme good. In our yes, we proclaim that God alone suffices and we prepare ourselves for what will be in the next life.  

Lent is a journey of learning, where, each year, if we will, we can delve deeper into this mystery of sacrifice. 

What have you taken on? What have you given up? Are you joining it to prayer? Are you joining it to the one Sacrifice that gives it meaning?

Be reminded that "...all things work for good for those who love God." Romans 8:28



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