Friday after Ash Wednesday
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 Psalm 31 Philippians 4:1-9 John 17: 9-19
One of my favorite phrases, “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant,” is found in Psalm 31. My wife said a version of it each night when putting my daughters to bed. I hear it every Sunday at the alter rail when children are blessed. It always makes me smile because I think of it as an invitation for God to come into our lives.
In Psalm 31, David uses it as a plea to save himself when he learns of his son’s plans to betray him. He is asking for God to help him by inviting him into his life. I think that he realizes that the only way forward is with God’s intervention. As the saying goes, there are no atheists in foxholes. I am often good at asking for help when I am in trouble, but not so good at it when I perceive that I am not.
I believe that Lent is a time for preparation to accept God’s love and mercy through His son, Jesus Christ. I think that acceptance is ultimately realized by not only our invitation, but thereafter our making room for God in our lives. I am good at going through the motions of inviting Him in, but not always so good at the second step which is making room for Him in my life.
I believe that Lent is designed to assist us with that second step. It is a time to block out the noise, give something up and focus on His place in my life. It is to recognize that not only is there room for Him in my busy life, but also that my busy life will consume me and lead me away from Him if I don’t make time and room for Him.
My prayer this Lent is to recognize that I am in constant peril and, notwithstanding how I feel my life is going at any point and time, that it is only through a daily invitation to Him and making room in my life for him every day that I can escape that peril.