A Season of Preparation

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Today marks the beginning of the Lent season—the weeks leading up to and preparing for Easter.  Admittedly, I haven’t been a huge participant in Lent in recent years.  For whatever reason, our church doesn’t place much emphasis on it and I’ve also felt like it became “trendy” to give something up for Lent, even by those not otherwise involved in church {Not to mention, the forsaken item always seemed to be something that would also conveniently result in weight loss}.  I’m not meaning to be judgmental, I just saw it as something popular to do, not something sincere.

I’ve felt convicted in the last few weeks to give something up though.  I was just thinking about it, swirling it around to see how it tasted in my mouth.  Trying to decide what would truly be a sacrifice.  I had to think hard about what I love… Ice cream. TV.  Internet. Tyler {joke}. Diet coke. Coffee. Wine.  Still just swirling it around though…

Come Sunday, our pastor, the one who’d never heard of Lent until seminary, challenged us to take the next three days to examine our hearts in preparation for Lent.

Dang it.

Okay, I’m going to give something up.  I decided my work would suffer without coffee {and my bodily functions might shutdown altogether}.  Wine?  Just not there yet.  Diet coke?  I quiver even typing it.

But the purpose of a sacrifice over Lent is to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice made for us by Jesus.  If He can die on a cross for me, certainly I can abstain from diet coke for six weeks.  It seems miniscule, doesn’t it?

4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.”

                                   Isaiah 53:4-6

And so it goes… Tomorrow begins… Forty days without the sweet, cold, bubbly effervescence of diet coke on my tongue.  It goes so much deeper than that, though.  It’s a time to prepare myself, examine my heart, to reflect on the fundamental enormity of death on a cross.

{And for Easter, I’m planning a lunch buffet of 64 oz. fountain diet cokes with three straws and unlimited refills.  All are welcome at the table.}

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