Lent Week Four—Tuesday
Psalm 94 Jeremiah 17:1-27 Romans 7:13-25 John 6:16-27
The readings from Psalm 94 and Jeremiah 17 make clear arguments for being on the Lord’s “good side.” To me, the message is: Go it alone, find yourself in a pit of despair; walk with Him, all will be well. It’s a no-brainer choice, but have I actually made it?
The Lenten season is a time to help us reflect on where we are in our walk (or lack of walk) with the Lord through self-examination, repentance, and self-denial. Being raised Catholic, I really thought I knew how to “do” Lent… you gave up something (self-denial, check). Ideally, that something was something that you wanted to improve about yourself anyway: giving up sweets came with the added bonus of losing a few pounds! But what about the other parts of Lent, self-examination? Repentance? Yikes and no thanks!
Mostly, I think my problem was that I really didn’t understand the concept of repentance. To me, repentance was complicated, messy, scary even, and on top of all that, would expose all of my awfulness when what I really wanted to do was show the Lord I was good so that I could be worthy and loved.
I was recently blessed with a better understanding. Our St. Mark’s Friends in Faith group is reading The Illumined Heart by Fredericka Mathewes-Green, who explains in the book that repentance is examining your sinful, bad parts so that God can help you gain insight, overcome your evil ways, and open your mind and heart up to Him so that good works can abound. I hope that this Lenten season I will have the courage to become aware of my sins, expose them and offer them up through prayer, so that I can be sure that I have actively made the choice to walk with Him.