Thanks to Cynthia Nelson for today’s Lenten reflection. As I read her words, I am lead to ponder what hard choices Jesus is calling us to this Lenten season.
Blessings on the Lenten journey,
Lent is the time when we remember the hard choices Jesus made that took him to the cross.
Luke 9:51 says Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. He made the hard choice to go to the headquarters of Herod the King, and the religious authorities. He knew that the attention he attracted and the content of his teaching would be impossible for them to ignore. Galilee was unimportant. Jerusalem was the capital.
One of the traditional ways to observe Lent, to in a sense participate in the journey to the cross, is to make hard choices that are related to practicing Christianity. For example, you might fast for a day, or eliminate a self indulgent food for the season of lent, or give to the food bank, while remembering those who don’t have enough to eat.
Protestants and Catholics traditionally disagreed about whether this sort of thing would make you a better person or a better Christian. Catholics emphasized spiritual training while Protestants taught our radical insufficiency vs God’s grace. But Protestants also taught sanctification and holiness in response to God’s goodness, as well as the need to be open to God’s saving work in the soul which will then manifest good works.
The point is not whether we can make ourselves better Christians, vs God doing it. If we want to get closer to Christ, we will try what we can. Lenten disciplines are one way to do that.
— Cynthia Nelson