Lent, as we know, is a time of repentance. It’s 40 days of honest reflection upon our identity as sinners. However, we are sinners who, by the grace of God, are being redeemed in Jesus Christ. Hasn’t it been said before....That every saint has a past and every sinner has a future? We are being redeemed through the work that Jesus has accomplished in Jerusalem. Can we repent? Will we repent? Those are the questions before us.
In our Scripture texts yesterday in church, we walked with Jesus in a garden. In that garden we are invited to examine our lives with God and God’s gifts to us. Jesus pointed to a fig tree that wouldn’t bear fruit. God is frustrated. The point being that disciples are best known by the fruit that they display. The book of Galatians speaks about the fruit of the spirit…kindness, gentleness, patience, etc. A follower of Jesus is a fruit bearer. Show me the fruit!!
Sometimes we Christians don’t appreciate how odd it is for us to gather on a Sunday and confess our sins to God and each other. That sort of honesty isn’t happening everywhere in town. And yet to be a Christian is to be someone who has learned the practice of honesty, confession, and repentance. The good news is that Jesus means to have all of us, and all that is within us. Will we follow a savior who not only dies for us, and who loves us, but who also judges us? Will we follow this Jesus who promises not to leave us until we are transformed into the person God creates us to be?
Jesus did some tough things. He suffered some tough things. But he also said some tough things. This Lent he says those tough things to us. We are to be the light of the world, he proclaimed. He holds us to account for letting our lights shine before the world. If we are willing to meet this God whom we had not expected to meet, then come along for the journey.
Lentingly yours in Christ, Pastor Gary