Lent | 02.23.12
So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes (Daniel 9:3).
As I turn my thoughts toward Easter and how God would have me prepare for this event I am reminded of a sports mission trip I led to Krakow, Poland in May of 1996. It was a Sunday morning, our team was participating in a worship service with a small congregation of Polish believers, and we were taking communion. I had stepped into the side aisle of the church to get some video footage. While scanning the congregation an elderly Polish woman captured my attention. She was alone, very old and worn, with a wrinkled face and head covered with a scarf, typical of the older Polish women I had seen throughout the trip. I stopped the camera, put it to my side and focused my eyes intently on the woman as she took the cup, drank from it, then buried her face in her hands and wept. I was moved to tears. She obviously had entered into an identity with her Christ on the cross unlike I had observed or experienced before.
Following the service I literally ran to greet her, along with an interpreter. I said to her, “I observed you during communion. I watched you drink from the cup and weep. That touched me deeply.”
She took my face in her wrinkled hands and caressed my face ever so gently as she responded with more tears, “I have lived through two world wars, lost all my family, and survived concentration camps. Jesus is my only hope. He died on that cross for me and the sins of my people. He took my place on that cross. Thank you for coming to share with my people about Jesus. Tell them ‘He is their only hope.’”
We held one another and cried together. I felt connected to Christ and the cross unlike ever before. It was a visual picture for me of how one identifies with the cross and at the same time celebrates the risen Savior, our only Hope for life and life eternal.
Since that encounter with my sister in Christ, an old Polish believer, I understand much better how to prepare myself for Easter through prayer, repentance, and identification with all the events linked to the Passion of Christ, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Hope for the World!
Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Administrator
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf.