Monday, March 01, 2010

Building Up Faith and Joy

Romans 5:1-3,6-10

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

My daughter told me earlier today that their pastor was talking this a.m. in church about how many people feel this is a mournful time of year, and we do not need to mourn--what Jesus did to reconcile us to God is cause for celebration. Resurrection life has come, after all, and we don't really have to wait till Easter Sunday to acknowledge it.

He is, of course, absolutely right. Perhaps this relates to my post about why we free church types tend not to acknowledge a lenten season. I am thinking of this time of "bright sadness" --a time which lends itself to some self-examination, some repentance, perhaps some godly sorrow, as much like what Jesus said on his last night with his beloved friends...."remember me...until I come."

We -- humanity--we were the reason. Let's look back together to remember, be thankful ponder our Redeemer, and let's also look forward with joy because of what has been accomplished through our Lord Jesus Christ.

A friend recently said, "Throughout the years the meaning of the Lenten season has changed for me. I remember as a kid how this was a season of penance and sadness - everything was geared towards the negative. But like many things, the season has changed for me - no longer a time to 'tear down' but ... instead a season of building - a time of rejoicing that Jesus accepted His destiny to give me the opportunity to someday spend eternity with Him."


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