Lent | 3.7.12

Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45
Jeremiah 30:12-22
John 12:36-43

I have never participated in Lent. The church I was raised in did not practice the tradition and my knowledge of Lent is still limited. The general theme I see amongst my friends who do participate in the Lenten season is a focus on discipline. I tried to give up coffee once and it was neither beneficial nor lasting, but I love the idea of reducing my self-absorption to focus more on Christ. I am not sure if this is to be done with less caffeine, but I am certain that this is something we must do habitually. Ideally, elevating Christ should be a discipline in our lives year round, but I love the intentionality of the Lenten season.

The notion of the God of the universe disciplining me, His daughter, is terrifying. It makes me want to pull a Jonah and run; or worse, pull up a chair in front of the television. If God is calling us to discipline, or if God is disciplining us, our options are pretty limited. We could choose the chair and the sitcom, but He usually gets His way. We can bet He will draw us to Him. He loves us, after all.

“The Lord disciplines those he loves . . . . No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:6, 11).

“I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished . . . Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing . . . But I will restore your health and heal your wounds” (Jeremiah 30: 11-13, 17).

I often get caught up in the idea that I can deal with my own wounds. I maximize my efficiency thinking I can earn my status with God. When that fails, I go to the television seeking distraction. I am in desperate need of His healing and I am certainly far too beat up by my sin to heal myself. Discipline is not God calling us to take our holiness into our own hands. It is not about amplifying our efforts to try to heal our own wounds. Our wounds are incurable. God is calling us to lay our filthy sin at His feet in humility to the Healer and the Almighty. Discipline is not easy. Less of me and more of You, O God.

Kristen Wright
Senior, Commercial Voice Major

You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf

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