“Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamit.”

Joel 2:12-13

The Church has entered the Lenten season – a period of forty (40) days, set apart for increased prayer and fasting, starting 01 March until 13 April 2017. The forty day count does not include Sundays. The period mirrors the forty days of prayer and fasting which Jesus embarked upon, in the wilderness enduring great temptations and testing.

This is the time for us to transition once again, in mind, body, and spirit, to the passion (suffering and crucifixion) and resurrection of our dear saviour Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary.

There is great excitement among Christian believers during this time. We’ve seen numerous pictures of Christians, bearing outward marks of the cross on their foreheads, which is admirable. However, more is required of us! We ought to observe the season of lent and make it real.

This is the time for personal reflection, correction, and realignment

We ought to reflect on the issue of sin and how we personally relate to sin, in view of God’s grace and compassion.

Sin refers to acts that break God’s law and go against what God wants or intends for us. The nature of sin is such that it often lurks in the background, in the dark, in secret, and in those compartments of life where we rarely go or open. As a result, sin is never truly dealt with or called out for what it is – even amongst Christian men and women.

If the journey of lent which we have now embarked upon is to be real, it requires that bring draw out our sins from the background into the light and lay them bare before God, to experience God’s compassion and forgiveness. Unless we do this, we can never truly repent.

Ideally, we should not find any pleasure in or from sinning, but sin ought to be ghastly, distasteful and vile to our palates; to such an extent that we cannot indulge in it, but rather spit it out and desire it no more.

We should not overlook our conduct, our thinking, and utterances which we know or believe to have transgressed (broken) God’s law and amounted to things which God hates.

God wants us to turn back from sin and realign ourselves with him. His grace and mercy are available to all. He doesn’t want us to put up a show, but to be real – to open our hearts, to be honest, and sorrowful of our misdoings and He will free us from all that has weighed us down and has hindered us from having a substantial relationship with him

Points of Reflection:

  1. What is it that you have allowed, which is sinful in nature, and given an advantage to, to rule over your heart, mind, body and spirit?
  2. How do you feel about it?
  3. Are you prepared to pray and ask God to deliver you from it?

Prayer

Good and loving Father. Today I have inwardly searched myself and have seen all that which I have done or failed to do and in consequence, have transgressed your law. I lay it all before you. I ask that you forgive me. I ask that you deliver me. I ask that your restore my relationship with you, so that at all times I may always know and do what is right and acceptable in your sight. In Jesus’ name I ask of you. Amen.