By Reverend Michael Hutchison Pastor, Prince of Peace Cluster-La Porte City and Eagle Center
Reflecting on the season of Lent
The season of Lent is a period of 40 days preparation for the great sacrifice of Christ at Easter. Catholics and other Christians retrace the steps of Jesus, who after His baptism, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days and nights, and after this period engaged the devil in battle and won the victory (Cf. Matt. 4:1-11). Lent is a season of grace, a season of repentance, a season to retreat and look back, and a season to sacrifice.
Lent: A Season of Grace
During the season of Lent, God offers those who turn to Him special favor. He offers this favor not because we deserve it but simply because it is His wish that we receive the fullness of life. In the book of Ezekiel 33:11, God sends the prophet to Israel with these words, “As I live – oracle of the Lord God – I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” This same wish is expressed differently in the gospel of John (3:16-17), “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” It is therefore unambiguous that God’s wish is that we have life and He offers us His grace in this Lenten season.
When we feel the struggle following our call to discipleship and feel we cannot make it, He reminds us that His grace is enough and will sustain us (Cf. 2 Corinthians 12:9). The letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Christ knows our struggles and He understands because He himself experienced temptation although He persevered without sin. From this shared understanding, the author encourages us to “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16). His grace and mercy have brought us this far, and in this season, as we try to draw closer to Him, we are encouraged to rely on His grace. Like King David, we who experience His grace should enter His presence and cry out “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house, that you should have brought me so far? And yet even this is too little in your sight, Lord God.” (2 Samuel 7:18-19).
Let us receive His grace and trust in His generous offer of salvation.