Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 5th Grade :)

Season of Lent Begins Today

on February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday, February 22nd

“From dust you come and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

For the Christian, the Lenten season is meant to remind us of our common mission to walk the path with Jesus toward death. It invites us to lose our lives in order to find them anew, resurrected with Jesus on Easter morning.

Whether or not one actively observes Lent, the season can serve as an invitation to evaluate our own lives and to examine the invitation of Jesus to “die” with him. We can enter this “deathly” contemplation with the anticipation of resurrection on Easter morning. But Christ’s path to resurrection is the path of laying down lives, the path of relinquishment, and the path of self-denial. This path feels entirely unnatural, for it takes us in the opposite direction of self-preservation.

Yet, Jesus said that if anyone wants to follow him, if anyone really wants the kind of life he offers, the kind of life he modeled for us in his own, then we must “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him” (Mark 8:34). Following Jesus will lead us all to the Cross, and will lead us all to the place of death. For the Christian, that is the downward journey of Lent.

Following the downward path of Jesus can lead to a renewed, hopeful, and restored vision of life. For as we embrace our inevitable deaths and declines, as we embrace the downward path, we have the opportunity to let go of the false things we think make up our lives. We let go of thinking that the accumulation of wealth, power, and resources make up a good life; we let go of thinking that busyness makes us important; we let go of thinking that our personal safety and security are to be preserved at all cost. And as we let go, we can embrace those who make life fullest, we can put others’ interests before our own, and exist for the sake of others. And what is done on behalf of others for the sake of Christ will indeed endure beyond our deaths.

The season of Lent is the season of dust and ashes. It is the journey toward one man’s death on a Cross and toward our own. Jesus understood this as he bore the weight of suffering, misunderstanding, shame, and death at Golgotha. The way to resurrection life is indeed not by saving our lives, but in losing them. Whether one observes Lent or not, the call to “take up our crosses” is issued to all.

Excerpt from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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