I debated back and forth as to whether I wanted to do this this year, but I think I do. If you want to hang with me great...if not, I hope you find someplace to feed you through Lent. I sat down a couple weeks ago to work on a devotional and got the outline organized...then life settled in again and the devotional isn't happening. So, I offer my own journey through Lent to share with friends who want to do this with me. It may get pretty intimate...got love my honesty some days.
Ash Wednesday...the beginning of Lent! Ok, so I'm sure everyone has good intentions for the next 40 days (not including Sundays) to prepare themselves for Good Friday and Easter. Honestly, I don't! I've been making plans lately and they haven't been working out so well. Yep, I get up and think I know what I'm doing for the day and by the end of it I'm baffled. The plan was shot 5 minutes after I made it and the day was not the "planned" day by any stretch. So, for Lent, I have very few plans. I hope to blog...I hope to do 2 Bible studies...I hope to be open to God's plans and forget trying my own. Get the word hope in there.
So, I opened my copy of The Message this morning. If you don't have a copy, you need one! Anyway....Romans 12! My favorite passage....ok, one of the top 10ish. Here you go...
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
So, it's the idea of Fixing the antention on God and the last part about how it's what God is and does that's important. Those were the lines that grabbed me this morning and help me to define Lent this year. It's not really about all the stuff...it's about God. Holding on to God, focusing on God, living out of an understanding of being God's child, living with the understanding YOU are God's child with me. It's that last part that society differs with in the ever present destrustion of the other person.
So, I, or better yet, we, begin Lent. We begin this journey that takes us back to the cross and then onto the empty tomb of Easter. God's fingers molding and shaping us....us know a deeper relationship with this God who created us, breathes life into us and so much more.
May we each know God's voice in this journey!