Lent began this week. I was raised in a denomination that didn’t keep Lent by sacrificing a favorite item or changing a habit. Nevertheless, I decided this past week that perhaps it would be good for me to try to change a bad habit during Lent, and for me, it is negative words. I’m sure most of you living in the U.S., and all over the world, are able to understand my negative words in the current circumstances of pandemic, virulent politics, right turned into wrong, and wrong turned into right. Add into that everyday stresses and it is a heavy burden for all of us.
I wish my sincere commitment had translated into a successful attempt at keeping my words positive. I lasted only three hours into Wednesday, the first day of Lent, before I missed the mark. By noon, I had blown it big time. The trigger – I was made to feel inadequate. My failure most likely traces back, as does all sin, to Satan in the garden with Eve. He appealed to her pride, but perhaps before pride caused the fall into sin, Eve believed herself inadequate.
The trigger of implied inadequacy caused me to say things, that while true, should have remained within for Jesus to help me deal with in His time. I thank him for his pardoning mercy. I’m still trying to keep my words positive through the rest of the Lenten season, but with so many satanic attacks flying toward us all it’s hard not to become a bit dour and grumble.
I know perhaps my words aren’t uplifting, but perhaps you can relate to them. I would be false if I put out the impression that I never fail, or don’t get the blues, or have struggles of my own. Through it all, I am glad for the pardoning mercy of him who has cleansed us from our sin. He will show me the path through this time. Amen.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
So, too, with the washing from sin. It is enough to make us sing of pardoning mercy for ever and ever if we have been cleansed from sin but the center of the joy is to adore him “that washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Observe that he cleansed us, not by some process outside of himself, but by the shedding of his own blood of reconciliation. It brings the blood-washing into the highest estimation with the heart when we look into the wounds from whence the atonement flowed, when we gaze upon that dear visage so sadly marred, that brow so grievously scarred, and even peer into the heart which was pierced by the spear for us to furnish a double cleansing for our sin. “Unto him that washed us.” The disciples were bound to love the hands that took the basin and poured water on their feet, and the loins which were girt with the towel for their washing; and we, brethren, must do the same. But as for the washing with his own blood, how shall we ever praise him enough? Well may we sing the new song, saying, “Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” This puts body and weight into our praise when we have realized him, and understood how distinctly these precious deeds of love as well as the love itself come from him whose sacred heart is all our own.