As a reminder, Lent is a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, repentance, transformation, and simplicity for the purpose of preparing the believer to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. The main components of Lent include:
– Fasting (choosing something to give up)
– Charity (acts of kindness)
– Scripture Reading
An important part of Lent is repentance – acknowledging our sins before God and turning away from them. As we become more aware of our sins, we are reminded that we are not worthy. But the great news is that God wants us – and loves us – anyway. There is no way we can demonstrate our worthiness. God imputes worthiness to us – as a free gift, undeserved, impossible for us of ourselves. There is nothing we can do to change God’s mind about this!
During this season of Lent, one way we can “repent” is by “changing out priorities.” As we share God’s love with others and give of ourselves, we become part of bringing the Kingdom of God near and present.
21 “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22 None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? 24 “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die. 27 But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. 28 Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die.
Psalm 130:1-8 – A song of ascents.
1 Out of the
depthsI cry to you, O Lord; 2 O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. 3 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his wordI put my hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 7 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. 8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
may our observance of Lent
help us to experience your renewing love and prepare us
to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
Lord, you forgive us all our sins –
nothing can separate us from the love you have for us.
And we are called to forgive others
with the same compassion, mercy, patience and love given to us.
I do not wish the sinner to die, says the Lord,
but to turn to me and live.
Thanks be to Christ the Lord, who brought us life by His death on the cross.
Teacher and Savior, You have shown us Your faithfulness and made us a new creation,
– keep us from falling into sin.
Help us to deny ourselves today,
– and not deny those in need.
May we receive this day as Your gift,
– and give it back to You through acts of kindness.
Master our rebellious hearts,
– and teach us generosity.
Creator of my life, renew me: bring me toAmen.
newlife in You.
Touch me and make me feel whole again.
Help me to see Your
love inthe passion, death andresurrection of Your Son.
Help me to observe
Lent ina way that allows me to celebrate that love.
Prepare me for these weeks of
Lent asI feel both deep sorrowfor my sins andyour undying love for me.