As I’ve said, Lent was not part of my upbringing. In fact, between the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas and Easter Sunday, there was very little except Palm Sunday to mark the journey. By the time I was old enough to know the difference, the Easter Bunny and candy eggs had totally insinuated themselves into the church’s highest and holiest day!
For the record, my favorite candy at Easter is the Reese’s peanut butter cup egg! I’m not promoting abstinence from activities and goodies that you may use to celebrate with friends and family. I am, however, inviting you to slow down.
What path are you walking down? Where is it leading? What decisions are you making on the daily basis that are, over time, shaping the course and direct of your life? If you call yourself a “follower of Jesus,” are you following Jesus?
The poet Thomas Hardy wrote, “If a way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worse.” In other words, you and I must be willing to see the darkness of our sin-stained heart in order to be free of it and continue walking in the light of Jesus.
The smeared ash on your forehead is gone by now. Do you remember what it symbolized?
It reminded us that we are finite and fallen. It reminded us that are but human beings and limited in our power. Moreover, we are fallen from God’s righteous plans for our life.This is what the Bible calls being lost.
Joseph’s brothers had no idea the drama that was unfolding around them. All they knew was that their families were in need of food. When they arrived in Egypt the second time, little did they know that they would look at their dark and hidden secret from the past. But, instead of being lost in that darkness, there was a bight and gracious light shining on them!
They were lost. And, by God’s grace, they were found. All those years ago when they sold Joseph into slavery in a fit of jealous rage, they had intended him harm. But, Joseph reminded them, “God meant it for good,” (Genesis 50:20).
Apart from God’s promise, the harder we try, the further away from the good life we get! It’s often in the madness of doing more and trying harder that we meet Jesus’s grace and mercy. God’s promise brings rest to my soul.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus brings rest for your soul.