Friday, February 20, 2009

Fourth's Pre-Lenten Reminder

Benjamin from The Fourth Finding Society, a fellow here-and-there blogger, has a wonderful post which I've quoted below in its entirety. Benjamin can pack a lot of conviction into very few words; this admonition to avoid the temptation of using worldly successes to gauge spiritual success is no exception.

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The Prodigal Son has returned to the house of the Father. Zachaeus has come down from his tree. The Publican has
left the temple in better shape than the Pharisee (though we're not told if he himself realized it - perhaps God keeps him in the dark for his own good).

Lent teaches us that God's love needs room to work. God's love needs our
loss. Our loss leaves space for his work. Lent is an image: we lose a little food and a little drink, and (hopefully) a little money. In return the grace of prayer may be given to us. In return, the grace of the Gospel may be shine a little brighter for us. At times, however, it seems nothing is given to us. This too should be considered a blessing. The Lord Jesus kept the commandments, denied himself, served all others, and was crucified for doing so. But, he was crucified willingly. Jesus knew something about the blessed loss that brings salvation. Lent is given to us to be an icon of his way of living.

God forbid I lose what is dear to me, we think. God forbid I lose control of my life. But God does not forbid it at all: He wills it. It is terrifying, but it is saving. The fear of God and the fear of having nothing and no power have something to do with each other. For God is present in the absence of our strength. And if we only can get this teaching into our hard hearts but one or two times a year, it is better than nothing. God is not bound. He will work wonders with two mites as he'll work wonders with a king's fortune. We should remember that the greatest wonder has been worked in a broken body and shed bled. The greatest wonder has been worked in a tomb.

It is a difficult thought, but it seems we need courage to fear the Lord.

1 comment:

s-p said...

Very good. Thanks for posting this. Amen.