What will you give up for lent?
Will you take up a spiritual practice to grow closer to Jesus?
How will you sacrifice so as to draw nearer to the cross?
Twenty five years ago, Connie taught an aerobics class at our church. I kidded with her about her dance class, assured with my daily 6 mile runs, that her aerobics were not too hard. One day as I walked through the gym she challenged me to join her class. One long hour later I stood in a soaked t-shirt forcing a feigned victorious smile. The next day pain visited me in places I did know could hurt. I had experienced high impact aerobics.
Experience changes us. The forty days of Lent invite us to experience Jesus’ journey towards the cross. Can we really understand Christ’s sacrifice without ever making any sacrifices for Christ? How can we experience salvation without attempting to take up the cross? Can we follow Jesus and not enter into the wilderness with Jesus? Will we be Christians who shoulder Jesus’ cross or slide by as spiritual consumers who simply celebrate Easter?
Will we enter into a season of sacrifice and there discover the deep love of God?
Paul writes that we need to live inside Christ’s crucifixion: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live: I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 )
How will you become like Jesus?
Will you spend 12 minutes in prayer, silence, thanksgiving and praise each day?
Will you resolve to worship each of the next seven Sundays?
Will you unplug a diversion like TV, Facebook, or a device a few hours each evening?
Will you lay aside the time to write a thank you note each day?
Will you call or write the sick, home bound, imprisoned or hurting each day?
Will you serve the poor, the hungry or other neighbors in need?
Will you give up fast food, chocolate, soda or wine?
Will you take up a daily prayer walk, yoga or prayerful exercise?
Will you read Luke, Acts, Ephesians and some of the Psalms over the next 40 days?
Will you give a financial gift big for you to miss it or begin to tithe?
May we experience sacrifice for Christ and thereby encounter a deeper sense of the love of our Lord.