The Infinite and Penitent

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Next Steps

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalms 91:1–2

Today, we are a week into the season of Lent — the 40 day journey to Easter. What is your experience with Lent?

When I was growing up, I thought Lent was “a Catholic thing” and did not really understand it, or try to. For some of you, Lent was something that was a part of your tradition and it left a bad taste. For still others it was deeply meaningful. I love the fact that I have been introduced to Lent over the past five years or so. It has become a deeply important time, a time of self examination — not in a sense of trying to please God, but in the knowledge that he is ready pleased with me. It is a time of entering with Jesus into the reality of his infinite nature (and my finitude) with a sense of penitence for not only me, but for us as a people made in God’s image, yet so often using our gifts in ways that mar that image.

On Sunday I put these words up on the screen: “You are my dear, dear child, and I am delighted with you.” Can you imagine God saying these words to you right now? Do you believe them to be true? They may seem like words for someone else, but the Bible makes it clear that they reflect how God sees and feels about you in Christ. They are words of truth.

This truth is crucial. This truth, if you appropriate it for yourself will infuse all of your life with the power and the courage to step into needed areas of challenging and growth. In this truth, you will discover a completely different way of doing Lent, a completely different way of being a friend, completely different way of being a spouse, a completely different way of being human. And it happens in the image of God.

What if this Lent you just sat with those words and you let them change you in the way Jesus meant when he said “repent,” see the goodness of reality and move toward it?

Sit with those words, put your name into the sentence, “____________, you are my dear, dear child and I am delighted with you.”

What would you do with God, what areas of growth would you step into, what risk would you take if you knew with every fiber of your being that God was thrilled with you? Because, he is.

Peace, hope and love

Doug


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