“From dust you came, to dust you will return.”
Most days are very ordinary. We get up in the morning, eat breakfast, do the normal things. We go work or engage in a project of some sort. We may take a break and eat some lunch and then go back to our task. The afternoon may provide a contrast or change of pace in the day and then it will be time for dinner (or supper if you live on a farm!) The day may conclude with a little bit of reading, (some people still do that), or watching a little television or catching up on emails and then off to bed. Such is life most days. Then there are some days that are very different. There are birthdays, wedding days, graduation days, the first day on a new job, or the first day of vacation. There are, however, two days in everyone’s life that are completely unique and unrepeatable, the day you were born and the day you depart this earth. Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent yearly reminds us of the significance of those two days.
For some people, Lent means having to give up something like not eating meat. For others, focusing on death may be their primary thought regarding Lent. Both ideas are a fundamental misunderstanding of Lent. That is not what Lent is about. The root of the word “lent” simply means “spring,” new life, buds, blossoms, the end of the long winter. A better way to view Lent is to focus more on transformation through repentance and humility to a new life made possible because of Jesus’ journey to the cross. Likewise, we take up our cross daily in following our Savior through this season.
The heart of the Christian faith is our participation in the life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus as Lord. Jesus’ work affects us personally. While Advent is concerned with the final Judgment, the Incarnation, and the birth of Jesus, this season points us to the price paid for redemption in bringing us new life. It is our prayer that these days leading up to Easter Sunday will further shape and form us into the image of Christ as we reflect with repentant hearts what he has done to free us from the bondage of our sinful selves and grow in our understanding of our new life in Christ. “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, a new life has begun.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
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All Scripture is taken from the New Living Translation Second Edition, Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. Carol Stream, IL ©2008 unless otherwise noted.
© Daniel Sharp 2024