Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
This week begins the season of Lent. Let us top up our coffees and reflect upon this season of self-reflection, renewal and gratitude.
Readings for Feb 26, 2020; Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:12-19; Psalm 51:1-13(14-19); 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
I don’t know about you, but before my husband and I plan to start a healthy eating regime, we usually end up indulging the day before. Anything in the house that is not part of our disciplined food intake is justifiably ingested in order to eliminate it from the household. I know, I know… that mentality defeats the whole purpose of and is usual the reason for needing to begin a healthy diet schedule in the first place.
However I must say, that once we start taking better care in our grocery purchases and eating healthier foods, it is not long before we start to feel better and we find it easier to resist the ‘junk food’ for the sake of our healthier and happier bodies. Do we give in and splurge some days? Oh yes! But it only takes a sleepless night of feeling stuffed and suffering from indigestion that gets us starting the next day with renewed motivation and a sense of remorse from the day before.
This week, as we head into Lent, we can consider making preparations to focus on a healthy diet schedule for our spiritual well-being. In fact, we even splurge the night before Lent begins with a feast of carbohydrates and sugary syrup in the celebration called Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday. Then the following day, starting with Ash Wednesday, we begin a six week spiritual diet as we journey to the cross.
Although some may feel they don’t need this time of spiritual dieting, and it certainly does not get us brownie points with our gracious God, it is a wonderful time of self-reflection and discipline to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus, our Saviour, and all he has accomplished on our behalf. Lent is a wonderful time to begin new healthy worship and prayer habits. Lent can be that time of spiritual dieting where we reduce our intake of those habits, attitudes, and desires that keep us from being all that God desires us to be, and which make us have those sleepless, restless nights of guilt and remorse. However, this time of spiritual dieting can also show us how incapable we are of changing. As Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) So then Lent becomes a time of deep humility in knowing just how weak and incapable we are at doing all that God commands of us, and we experience a heartfelt thankfulness to Jesus for his sacrifice and salvation on our behalf. We fully see the reality of how “ God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then with a renewed joy we lay our weak bodies before him and proclaim as David did, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
May this Lenten season bring you to a greater realization and gratitute for how much God loves you and what he himself sacrificed on your behalf.
Prayer: Dear Lord, be with me this Lenten season as I walk with you to the cross. Help me to see an area in my life that I can lay before you in order for you to cleanse me and change me to be a healthier child of God. Yes, create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!