honest sin, honest salvation


I have not always observed Lent.
I have not long participated in liturgy.
I have not yet understood all the questions and mysteries of that desert time.

Even so, I hold a deep and growing appreciation of both the season along with much of the tradition and history and expression surrounding it. From ashes to empty tomb, the Lenten fast through Easter season has become a most cherished and challenging period in my life.

This year, this fresh path into the season,
the sense is much more on the ‘challenge’ then on the ‘cherish’.

Each Lent, there is the call and opportunity to make a commitment; a pledge, a fast, a choice. More often than not, that choice becomes difficult to uphold, in one way or another, leading us back to feast on Christ and to realize both again and anew, our dependency.

For me, this year’s challenge is not my vow itself, but all that it shows within me. This year, I am witnessing with minute detail: my need, my weakness, my anger, my wrongdoing, my excuses.

I would have called those stones into bread.
I would have taken the kingdoms.
I would have cast myself down and forced The Hand.

Because in myself I am so hungry. I am greedy. I am so desperate .

And that is why I cherish this time.

It’s in this desperation of sinfulness that I am reminded:
The Christ doesn’t give us the option of figuring it out. It’s not, “Some of you shall succeed and prove your righteousness to me, some of you shall pull this off because you’ve got it…”. It’s not, “Keep going, you’ll get there, just try a little harder!” It’s not, “Feed yourself, pace yourself, you’re the one!”

No.

Instead it is:
You cannot do this. There is no way. Apart from me cannot DO. You cannot truly even BE.

There is nothing.

And I…LOVE that.

Because then there is hope. Then there is space to let go and honestly confess “all that I have done and all that I have left undone.” Then I don’t have to convince anyone of anything beyond the fact that I am so desperately hungry for Life and so aware of all the death that is within my thoughts, words, and deeds. Then I may “delight in His will” and then I may walk His ways and then it will be to the “glory of His name”.

While we are in shadows we first notice the Light.

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Comments
2 Responses to “honest sin, honest salvation”
  1. Kristin says:

    Thank you.. so true.. ” while we are in shadows we first notice the Light.”

  2. melanienbrasher says:

    Beautiful! I too am growing to love this season in my faith and I too am realizing my utter dependance. I’m trying to fast from complaining…impossible in my own strength!

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