Continuing the Lent Journey
“My eyes are always looking to the LORD because he will free my feet from the net. Turn to me, God, and have mercy on me because I’m alone and suffering… Look at my suffering and trouble – forgive all my sins!… Let integrity and virtue guard me because I hope in you.” Psalm 25:15,16,18,21
As we journey through Lent, we intentionally move through a season that makes us uncomfortable. We really don’t like taking closer looks at ourselves, especially with regard to how well we follow God’s leading on our lives and our imitation of Jesus. I think the reason is that we really want to believe that we are good people doing as best we can. The problem is that we use others around us as the bar, not Christ himself. I recently heard about a pastor admitting to a colleague that he doesn’t take a day off because the Devil doesn’t. The colleague wisely responded that the pastor is probably using the wrong role model! That is true of our lives much of the time. We use the wrong basis for our evaluations.
Instead, let’s use Lent to focus on our own lives more purposefully on God. We really don’t have time to worry about the sin of others, since if we’re worrying about our own, it’s all we can keep up with. Let us keep Lent by spending intentional time developing our relationship with God. We need to use devotions and intentional prayer time, fast from distractions (whatever they may be), and seek the will of God with everything we have. This way, we begin to recognize more fully the extreme love shown us by God through Christ. The more we recognize the depth of that love, the more the coming joy of Easter means, but also the more clearly the plight of the world becomes. The more clearly the plight of the world becomes, the more the love of God may convict us to do something about it.
The evil of the world would love nothing more that for us to be silent as it slowly changes lives. Instead, we must defy the silence and speak out against hate, fear, and oppression. The silenced voices of the downtrodden and marginalized need to be heard. I just heard a new recording of “The Sound of Silence” and it is chilling. It reminded me of the line, “Silence like a cancer grows.” Cancer destroys lives; we know that, many of us personally. But silence in the face of evil destroys just as much. We must allow our time in Lent together to allow God to strengthen us to proclaim the incredible, life affirming, love strengthening, hate destroying message of Easter with everything we have and every voice we have. Let God’s message of love never be drowned out by polite silence.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian Siegle