First Thursday of Lent | Christy Ridings

Psalms 37:1-18
Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Titus 1:1-16
John 1:29-34

The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his
people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

Today is the day all about love…or at least that is what we are told by the greeting card and
chocolate manufacturers. It is the day we express, in often the most basic of ways, where we
have set our affection. We affirm that we have chosen, and have been chosen by someone,
to love. We look for new and creative ways to articulate the reasons why our hearts are
inclined to our special someone: their beauty, their character, their passion, the way they
make us feel.

The season of Lent serves as a time for reflection on this notion of love and affection. As we
prepare ourselves during this Holy season, we are challenged not only to reflect on why we love
God, but on why it is that He loves us. The recognition of God’s deeds can produce thankfulness,
but an examination of God’s love for us produces a deeper knowledge of His character.
God loves because it is His nature to do so.

All of the reasons we can surmise for why we are lovable are essentially meritless. God’s
love, like the cross, is about who He is—not who we are. A reflection of God’s love for us
inadvertently moves our perspective to the central theme of His character. God does not
love us because we are His treasured possession. God’s love for us is what makes us His
treasured possession. The question of “Why?” then pushes us to reflect less on our laundry
list of lovable attributes and more on the incomprehensible nature of God’s love. It is a love
so contrary to our own human nature that it could only fully be articulated through death
and resurrection.

During this season, and specifically on this day, let us reflect not only on what God’s love
says about us…but what His love fully reflects about Him.

CHRISTY RIDINGS
Associate University Minister & Director of Spiritual Formation

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