Today is the first day of Lent for 2011. Many people were out partying last night to celebrate Mardi Gras. “Fat Tuesday” is typically a day to overeat, overdrink, and indulge before the Lenten season begins, which supposedly signifies giving up all these “fleshly indulgences”.
What does Lent mean to you?
Some decide to give up chocolate,television, or some other thing that brings them pleasure. I think Lent is about more than that. Lent is a time to cut back on activities and fleshly pursuits so that we can spend that time reflecting on ourselves, our relationship with God, and our relationships with others.
What better way to do this than reflect on the person of Jesus Christ? After all, he is the embodiment of God and by looking at his life, his words, and his actions, we can learn how to treat others, how to live an honest and holy life, and how to love ourselves in a balanced way.
Jesus is the perfect example of a life well-lived; a life of service and sacrifice. Jesus knew his purpose in life and dedicated each day to fulfilling it. He made it a priority to heal, to help, to encourage those who were hurting. He was a friend to the poor, the outcast, and the lonely. Most importantly, Jesus followed the will of God, and not his own will, straight to the cross. Guiltless, he paid the penalty for all of our sins in one sacrificial act of atonement.
Isn’t that the truest example of love? To sacrifice yourself for someone else? Denying oneself not just of pizza or chocolate, but to lay down one’s life for another. Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Think about that for a bit.
Because of Jesus’s death and shed blood, we are seen as cleansed in the sight of God. We can now come to the Father, unashamed and forgiven of all our past mistakes. There is a price to pay and Jesus paid it for us, once and for all.
If you have not considered Jesus lately, dear one, perhaps this Lenten season may be the time to do so. He has a purpose and a plan for your life that only He can reveal. May the Lord of the Universe reveal himself in a new way to you this Lenten season!