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Were is your focus this Lent? On you or on Jesus. Lent is not about us, it is not about self-improvement, it is about Jesus, it’s about New Birth, it’s about New Life, it’s about New Perseverance and New Death.
[ Praise to God for a Living Hope ] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:2-4
As a Christian we are a new creation, but more importantly as a Christian we believe that God became man and was born of woman into our humanity. His birth is the source of our New Birth. Because of a Childs Birth, we now have the opportunity to experience our Birth, our New Birth into Christ’s Church, into His Mystical Body.
Lent is a time for us to reflect upon the New Birth, a time to renew our own vigor and a time to dig deeper into our Birthright. With out the Birth of Christ, we would have no Resurrection, and without our New Birth into the Mystical Body, we would have no hope or joy, no resurrection of our own.
Now I’m not saying that we, like Christ, will rise from the dead, but we will, with Gods grace upon us, experience a sort of resurrection, one of a New life being born within us.
Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
We are slaves, slaves of our flesh, slaves of our world and slaves of our sin. Yet we have been promised a New Life, a Life of Milk and Honey, a life of Love and Understanding. Yet we still suffer as Christians, we suffer because we are Christians, because we proclaim our Christianity to all. We suffer more for our convictions than we would if we would denounce or hide them. Or, so we think. Our suffering for the sake of Jesus is our joy, our suffering is our cross.
The Cross of Jesus is the symbol of His suffering and death for our sins, but it is so much more. The Cross is not a sign of defeat, of the end of Death, but a sign of Victory, of the New Life, the Resurrection, the Empty Tomb.The surging’s He suffered, the humiliation and abandonment he endured was not for his sake, but for ours. The Cross is the peace sign of the Christian movement, it is the battle cry of our army and the symbol of our nation. The Cross of Christ is our model, our example our map to the New Life.
Lent offers us the time to examine the Cross of Christ, to feel the wood grain and to touch the blood that drips and runs down its hued sided. Lent offers us the Cross not as a symbol but as a reality.
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
We understand perseverance, most of us live it. The Church understands perseverance, she is live proof of it. But we only know of earthly perseverance, Jesus knew of Heavenly perseverance. A perseverance the He taught us on the night He was betrayed. He endured for us and triumphed over for us Death. His perseverance was paramount and divine in nature.
Lent offers us a time to experience perseverance of the Heavenly sort. All we need to do is ask our Heavenly Father for the Grace to preserver and to come through this Lenten session a New Creation. TO allow us to shun temptations and linger in the shadow of the Cross. Heavenly Perseverance is attainable for the asking.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:
Death, for Christians, is not the end, in-fact, for Christians it is only the beginning. Yet our human nature, our fallen understandings define death as an end. Death, of the flesh is such a death, but death of the spirit, there is no such death, to a Christian. For Christ secured for us, upon that Cross, a New Death, a Death in to New Life. A glorious Death, a welcomed Death a Death of everlasting Life.
Look upon the Cross, see with in it the doorway to eternity. Look into the Cross and see beyond it into the glory of Heaven. The Master calling to his own, the Shepard retrieving His sheep. The Cross is our Doorway and the empty tomb is our passage way, Christ as laid out the plan, the road to eternity has been carved out of Calvary and He awaits our arrival.
Lent is a time to explore that road a little bit closer, a time to enter into the Death of our Lord a little deeper and a time to experience a New Death, a Death of the old ways, the way of Sin, a time to be born again, into Christ.
So, what is your focus for Lent, is it to stop eating candy or to start walking the road to Calvary?
God Bless & Happy Lent