February 12, 2013

On Keeping a Holy Lent*

No, I'm not the person to ask about keeping a holy Lent.  For what it's worth, I don't believe I've ever even kept Lent "well."

But our pastor had copies of this little pamphlet by Craig R. Higgins at the back of the church several years ago and I go to it each year at this time.  I was thankful to find it online to share with you!

Rev. Higgins asks some very potent questions to get one started thinking about repentance during this time of preparation for real, enthusiastic, joyful celebration on Easter morning:

  • What are my characteristic sins, and how can I work and pray for change?
  • What idols have captured my imagination so that my love for the living God has grown cold?
  • In what ways is my devotion to Christ and his church less than wholehearted?

Here's the other quote that gets me every time I read it:  The point of Lent is not to give up chocolate; it's to give up sin!

I do think that giving something up can cause us to give up sin, reminding us or our desperate need for a Savior and leading us to repentance.  But the point is drawing near to God in repentance, not giving something up for it's own sake.

In fact, this year I'm considering adding something to my life that I believe will lead me to repentance, showing me just how much I love myself, my time, and me, me, ME!!!  If you choose to fast during Lent, choose wisely AND everyone does not need to know what you've given up, though it might be helpful to have a couple of confidants for accountability.

There you have it, my brief thoughts on Lent.  Being that I am me, I probably could say more ... ha ha ha!  But I'll close with this.  Someone mentioned "The Jesus Prayer" to me in a Facebook comment.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

It behooves us to remember that we are sinners in need of a Savior (all the time!), and that He indeed is merciful, forgives our sin, and gives us new life.  What a better time than now, to join Christians around the world and through history in observing a time of greater focus on repentance.  Our sin is big, but as Corrie Ten Boom said, There is no sin so great, that God's grace is not greater still.

May this Lenten season, however you observe it, draw you closer to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

*This is a repost from a couple of years ago, updated for this year.  There are so many posts half written in my drafts or in the back of my head, but the days are running out before I get to writing lately!

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