Lent | 3.19.12
There is almost nothing worse, it seems, than being so desperate for something, only to realize that when you’ve found it, it is not what you expected or needed at all. In Exodus 15, the Israelites have wandered through the desert for three days without water. Then, all of a sudden, it is there. Beautiful, refreshing, life giving water. Except it is not beautiful or refreshing or life giving at all. It is bitter. It is not fit to drink. Of course, the Israelites will not have this, so they cry out to Moses, who subsequently cries out to God. The situation is remedied when Moses throws a piece of wood into the water and there is a miraculous change in it—it is, in fact, beautiful, refreshing and life giving.
As we approach Easter, we have hope that what we will receive will be all of those things the Israelites hoped their water would be. However, it is easy to be taken aback by the bitterness and disappointment of the Lenten season. Because in this season of Lent, we are called to look within ourselves at the filthy brokenness we find there. With the coming of Easter, we expect to be forgiven, restored and joyful; but we are stopped dead in our tracks, because there is business that must be attended to before that glorious time. That filthy brokenness within is what we find instead, and because of that, we find ourselves crying out to God in prayer, repentance and self-denial. It is bitter. This crying out to God, this throwing the wood into the water is a form of redemption. It is how we are reconciled.
Once we have done that, once we have cried out to God, we experience the hope that is found in Hebrews 3—that “Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house,” and we are his house. Just as Moses was faithful to the Israelites, Jesus has been, and continues to be, faithful to us “if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” That dear friends, is beautiful. It is refreshing. It is the ultimate hope we have at the end of the long Lenten season. It is life giving.
Junior, Christian Leadership Major
You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf