Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Lent, A time for transformation: Return to Him
Vs 22 - “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
It is the end of February, beginning of Lent and I have a very important question. How is your New Year’s resolution going? 45% of American adults make resolutions each year. Have you been able to lose that weight or get into better shape? Are your more disciplined in your prayer life and spending more time deepening your faith? Have you been able to save more money or quit bad habits? How much of a better person are you today than you were on December 31st 2019? Full disclosure, my resolution was an utter failure. We shouldn’t feel too bad; a study shows that by the second week of January, 25% of people have abandoned their resolutions and only 8% actually keep them for the whole year.
Too often, Lent feels like our New Year’s resolution. Should we give up meat again this year? Perhaps I’ll cut out coffee, sugar or soda. Maybe we’ll have family prayer every day. These are all great ideas, but why are we doing these things? We’ve been taught that Lent is a time of reflection and preparation which ultimately leads to a glorious celebration on Easter Sunday. The one aspect we tend to forget about is the “return to Christ.” Too often Lent becomes an exercise of spiritual perfection or an opportunity to check off a box on my “divine actions list”.
In verse 22, the Lord says through Isaiah that he has swept away our sins, redeemed us and encourages us to return to him. The Hebrew word šū·ḇāh or “turn back” is used 8 times in the Bible. This is an invitation by God for us to return to him. Lent is an opportunity for us to spotlight the evil and sins which exist in us. This is the time for those struggles and bad habits to be magnified so that we can understand why we need God in our lives. I like to describe myself as a bad guy who would be a whole lot worse if it were not for the grace of God. Lent reminds me of why I need God and how sweet his redemption in my life is. Each day of Lent should be a constant reminder of our weaknesses and how dependent we need to be on Jesus. Lent is not about our sheer will or personal motivation, but a call to return to our master. After these 50 days, I pray you can celebrate your redemption because you’ve accepted the necessity of leaning on Him and returning to Him every day as a true spiritual requirement.
Dear Lord, we pray this be an opportunity for us to return to you EVERYDAY, not just at the end of the Lenten season. Thank you for your redemptive life, death and resurrection. AMEN
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Where sin runs deep Your grace is more, Where grace is found is where You are.” (Lord I Need You by Matt Maher) Dr. Ron Jacob, Long Island MTC, NY Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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