March 10, 2019
We have started our journey into lent. Lent is a season we prepare our hearts and minds for Christ' certain walk to the cross, Good Friday. Lent can be characterized by fasting, prayer, meditating, giving things up, or a host of other spiritual practices. This past Sunday we focused on the Confession of Faith found in Deuteronomy 26:1-11.
In this text, Moses gives instructions on what Israelites should do during the harvest of first fruits. Once taken to the priest at the temple, people are to say the following: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. 6When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, 7we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.”
This is a confession of faith meant to remind the Israelites of their story, where they come from, the trouble they've had, and ultimately who delivered them. A good confession of faith is like a security blanket to hold onto during scary dreams. A good confession of faith roots us firmly in the present by reminding us that we've been through difficult things in the past and that God has always seen us through.
During lent, many of us will try and do the awesome work of self-reflection which will put us face to face with out shortcomings and pains we have caused others. This work can be hard and can leave us feeling very alone at times. As we do this journey, my request to you is that you do not forget your confession of faith. We are children of God and God has not left us alone. We are not alone when we look at our mistakes or when we are in a wilderness of hardship, God is always with us, beside us, and will deliver us to a land of milk and honey.
Be brave as you walk through lent. Be brave because you know how the story began and how it ends, you know you are loved, you know you are not alone, and your deliverance is near. Peace and love to you, friends.