Do you have faith? Do you want faith? Do you want to see more clearly the presence of God in your life? Then, ask Ask God for mercy, and for sight. Your faith in Jesus can do a lot.
It is no secret that we can experience times and places where we are overwhelmed. We can feel there is too much to do in too little a time. There are times when we are asked to do something at work that we feel is simply too difficult. We can experience the death of someone we love dearly, and feel overwhelmed and unsure about what it is we can do to live our lives in the face of this tremendous loss.
We celebrate Lent so that we can remove from our lives the aspects of spiritual life that is overwhelming by our own making. We seek to bring our sin and mercy to God. We seek to “offer sacrifice” to make us more aware of what blessings we have in our lives, and how to remove from our lives those things we do not wish to continue. We take on extra spiritual practices so that we can come to experience God more and more in our lives.
when our sin, our faults and failings cause us to feel overwhelmed, it is seasons like Lent that remind us that we only need the overwhelming love and mercy of our God, who is always seeking a stronger relationship with us.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Such a statement, one which Saint Paul calls trustworthy and deserving full acceptance, hardly seems controversial or something upon which we need to give much thought. But a closer reading, and some deeper reflection suggests to me, anyway, that sometimes I do not always present a faith where I seem to show forth a viable witness to this truth.
That is because, there are too many times where I do not show forth the hope of the gospel and the reliability of God’s forgiveness. Too often, I want to reduce the spiritual life to something that seems too clear to me, has only my needs in mind, and is centered on me. “It’s all about me” is not that far removed from what I think about the spiritual life sometimes.
Yet on the other hand, there are too many times where I do not see myself as having much need of forgiveness. When I take this line of thought too far, it is during these moments when I become too much like the self-righteous Pharisee who in the front of the synagogue thanked God for not making him too much like those other people.
I am no gardener. I kill plants, I hate weeding, I forget to water. In so many ways I simply do not have the dedication necessary to grow great plants. I simply do not pay attention to the needs a plant has in order to thrive. In a way, the real challenge for me is that growing plants is simply not an activity that is important enough for me to care about it. While I can appreciate the final product when plants are grown, I would much rather have the final results, such as the fruit, vegetable or beautiful flower instead of putting in the hard work.
Clothe yourselves with humility. Humility is one of those words that is not easy to define, but as the saying goes, we know it when we see it. It is hard to understand because while it does mean having an honest assessment of one’s person, it does not mean thinking of oneself as having no worth. Being humble is not the same as humiliation. And to be authentic, there must be an aspect of humility that understands one’s proper place, both a sense of strengths and weaknesses. It means keeping things in proper perspective.
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