Reflecting on Lent From a New Perspective
I have been mulling around in my mind “WWJD.” “What would Jesus do?” In my conversations with a good friend, my bible studies and as I pray and listen for the voice of the CEO (God) I struggle. I ponder how I should react to situations that seem unfair. I want to retaliate, ignore, quit and give up. I am reminded love is not love until it is love under duress. To love when feeling hurt, insulted, feeling affronted, or engulfed with feelings of disrespect is true servanthood in the name of Jesus and God almighty. God love us even though he knows the full depth of our wretchedness. True followers are to love and serve in the same way.
As I write I struggle to attain what God has ordained me to do and be. The flesh, human thoughts and feelings try me daily. As Apostle Paul said, “the things that I should do I do not do and the things that I should not do I do.” In reflection I often see the divinity of Christ but not the humanness of Christ. Jesus experienced what we experience not as God but in the frail body of the man God created. What I deem impossible do held up to the light of Jesus’ divinity gives me room to turn away from the light. After all, I surmise, I am not God. I am only human. I say to myself; I’m not built like that. I can’t be expected to give and forgive the way Jesus did while he walked the earth. But, much to my chagrin I am expected to love as Jesus in the flesh loved. Trusting in God the father. Trusting to see me through and bring me home.
Crucifying the flesh means enduring hardship like a good soldier and submitting my fear, ego, and pride to die to open my life to the promises of Jesus and God to manifest in my life. To allow myself to be a vessel of light for those around me on earth as it is in heaven. As I study in a new way the meaning of Lent I am moved to a different kind of fast. To give up or sacrifice something not just for 40 days, but for a lifetime. Isaiah 58: 6-11 (kjv) states:
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
I come to a new fullness of the sacrifice of Christ. Jesus gave all for humanity to save all who will accept the gift of eternal life. I endeavor and pray to submit my mortal body as a living sacrifice before God. In return his love, expectations and instructions will make me and mold me day by day all the way to the end of this life. There are things I struggle with daily in my brokenness. Not always knowing when to protect myself and when to submit myself. But the answer to my own dilemma is to submit everything to God. I am to trust God, his word and the heavenly host always.