St Marks Lenten Thoughts, Friday before the first Sunday in Lent

Friday before the First Sunday in Lent

Psalm 35 Deuteronomy 7: 12-16 Titus 2: 1-15 John 1: 35-42

In the second chapter of Paul’s letter to Titus, (whom he refers to as “my true son in the common faith”), Paul is instructing Titus in leading the people of the church in Crete in the truth of God, and in how they, as God’s people, should live and behave in their daily lives.

As Paul continues his tutorage, he lists the many attributes of a faithful and devoted follower of Jesus: godliness, self-control, love, purity, kindness, goodness, integrity, etc., encouraging Titus to instill these traits in the various groups in that church, so that they might grow in their spiritual life, and in the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. By truly taking this teaching to heart, their lives will be transformed into new creations.

I do not know about you, but I need this “transformation” on a daily basis, and sometimes more by the hour! Just when I feel that I am making progress, I “backslide”! Lent is a season for “backsliders” to concentrate on our inner, spiritual lives, and emerge, if only for a while, as a new creation, at least until we “backslide” again! I tend to take two steps forward, and four steps back! But we always get another chance to try again…..thank you, Lord.

TRANSFORMATION… if you are like I am, this word always conjures up that incredible creation of our Lord’s, the butterfly. Talk about transformation! WOW! Perhaps the Lord created it to be a symbol of how drastically transformed our lives can become, and what beautiful souls and spirits are created, as we allow His Holy Spirit to work His transforming love in our lives as we spend time His word, worship, prayer and other spiritual disciplines during these forty days of Lent.

Let’s think of our spiritual lives in terms of the life cycle of the butterfly: when we are born, we are “eggs”, and we grow into the “caterpillar”, more or less “crawling” in our spiritual development, but nurtured by parents, Christian leaders, church activities, etc; as we grow in our spiritual life, and draw closer to our Lord, maturing in our faith, we, eventually, enter our “cocoon”, or serious time of growth and change; finally we become more mature in our faith by loving our Lord, growing in Him, and being guided by His Holy Spirit; as this happens, we begin to emerge from our “cocoon”, and begin to soar, like the beautiful butterfly. However, unfortunately, we can continue to “backslide” periodically! (Or at least I can!) That is the time to “cocoon” again! Lent is the perfect time for “cocooning”, nourishing our spiritual growth as we spend time in His word, in meditation, in study, and worship and, perhaps, we will emerge with a stronger faith and dedication to our Lord and His people. Let’s soar to new heights together this Lent.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Laura Boyd

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