Lent

Confession: Lent is really hard for me and I hate fasting. Fasting is my least favorite spiritual discipline.

This Lent particularly has just been really hard for me. I didn’t feel a burning passion to participate this year. I didn’t know what would be good for me to fast. I haven’t sensed an overwhelming increase of the Spirit’s presence or activity in my life. What I've "given up" is more about what I'm "adding in" this year. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve learned much of anything this Lent season.

How’s that for Passion Week inspiration!?!? 

When thinking about blogging in these last days of Lent, I hoped that maybe that desire would crystallize into something really meaningful and spiritual. So, I turned to the Scriptures to see what Jesus was doing on Wednesday after Palm Sunday. And guess what the Scriptures say happened on Wednesday before Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection? NOTHING! Scholars believe Jesus probably hung out with his disciples in Bethany.

“Nothing” has been a theme of Lent for me. Maybe it has for you, too. In the midst of apparent spiritual meaninglessness and nothingness, what do you do with that?

In desperation and persistence, I turned to a Passion Week reading...

66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council,[a] 67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”

But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.[b]”

70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”

And he replied, “You say that I am.”

71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”
— Luke 22:66-21

Here's what I see: Who you say “I AM” determines what you do.

Maybe you’ve had an incredible intimate and profound experience with the Lord during Lent. If so, I'm happy for you! For real.

But here’s the deal with the “NOTHING” of Lent.

  • The religious leaders and priests didn’t get what Jesus was doing in the moment. Sometimes we don’t get what God is doing in the midst of it, even if he tells us.
  • Jesus doesn’t change even if my experience doesn’t prove some amazing outcome. I fast out of obedience and love for my Messiah, not just because of someone I’m going to get out of it in 40 days.
  • Jesus doesn’t work on my timetable of immediate gratification or transformation, but he is working on my behalf because of his great love for me. The proof is in the Cross. 

So whether you find yourself in some amazing insights and transformation or you find yourself in the middle of "NOTHING", may you find yourself knowing the I AM more.

Thank God Sunday is on the way.