We are in the Season of Lent, and many of us are looking forward to Easter, not only for the joyous celebration that is Easter but also for the signs of spring that come along with our Easter celebrations. We’re already seeing the longer days, the sun feels a bit warmer than it did in early January, and if you’ve been in stores, you have likely seen spring clothes and Easter Baskets along with the candies that go in them.
This season of Lent I will be focusing on Jesus and who He is. Lent is the time of year that Christians have traditionally looked at their lives to find out how God wants them to be changed to more perfectly reflect the image of God. For some people it has been about fasting, not for the sake of losing weight but to sacrifice a little bit of our wants and desires and to draw closer to God. When the desire to eat the favorite food we’ve chosen to give up for the few weeks of Lent tempts us, we turn our hearts and minds to Jesus and his sacrifice on our behalf. When we want to reach for that cup of coffee or that candy bar we’ve chosen to set aside for the seven weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter, we listen to what God has to say to us about loving our neighbors and the strangers that God brings across our daily paths.
Lent is also the time to see how important Jesus really is in our lives. As Christians we say that Jesus is Lord and Savior. What does that mean to us today? In centuries past when there were lords who controlled vast stretches of land and held full authority over the lives of the people living on their lands as judge, people had a greater understanding of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Lords do not live in the United States, and even in England and other European countries the people who hold the titles of Lord, Baron, Count, Duke or other positions do not have the power their ancestor once had. They cannot order the expulsion of people or jail them or order their execution.
We have judges in our judicial system, but they are governed by rules and regulations; they are not to make their decisions based on their feelings, emotions or protection of their place in society.
Our politicians are expected to act for the benefit of our communities, states and nation and not their own best interest or financial gain. We know that there are politicians who have and are taking advantage of their positions for personal and family gain, but they are expected to be put out of office when their malfeasance is discovered.
So what does it mean that Jesus is Lord and Savior as well as the Second Person of the Trinity? It means that when we call Jesus Lord, we submit our whole being to His will. What beliefs we have that need to be modified or changed to align with what God calls us to do and believe should be on the table. Do our daily routines and actions honor God, or are they things we pretend that we can hide from God?
During this Season of Lent, as you spend time focusing on Jesus Christ and who He is in your life, I hope that you can learn how to be a blessing to the people that God has brought into your life. Some of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount were, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
When we serve the people God has brought into our lives, we are helping them see the God who loves them, the Savior who chose to die for them and who loves them as much as He loves us.
John 3:16 & 17 really is the Easter story in Jesus’ own words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Pastor Ethan