Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Peace be with you!
Each year during Lent we take six weeks to travel to the cross with Jesus. It seems redundant. Why must we go through the pain of watching Jesus be beaten, crucified, and left to die yet again? Isn’t one time enough?
We are sinners who fall and are raised daily; we sin, confess, and seek forgiveness and absolution daily. We are hypocrites, liars, deceivers, thieves, adulteresses, and transgressors. It is not enough to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem once in our lifetime. Lent gives us the opportunity to focus on our need for a Savior (lest we forget) and experience the full impact of the Good News when Easter arrives again.
Psalm 51 is a prayer King David wrote after he committed adultery and murder. One evening, King David spotted Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop and lust filled his heart(2 Samuel 11). He called his servant to go fetch Bathsheba, even though she was married to Uriah, a soldier in his army. King David took Bathsheba into his bed and got her pregnant. To cover up his sin, King David called Uriah home from the battlefield to see his wife, Bathsheba, hoping Uriah would think he had impregnated her himself. However, out of respect for his soldiers still on the battlefield with no opportunity to see their wives, Uriah slept in King David’s courtyard and did not see his wife before heading back to the battlefield.
Since Uriah did not sleep with Bathsheba, King David feared being discovered as the real father of Bathsheba’s baby. With no way to pretend the babe in her womb was Uriah’s, King David sent him to the frontline where he was killed in battle. After Bathsheba had grieved the loss of her husband, King David took her as his wife. The prophet Nathan confronted King David with his sins, and David repented before the Lord. Unfortunately, sin does have its consequences; the baby died soon after birth and the Lord promised a rebellion would happen within David’s household.
King David gives us an example of how we live in the darkness and need to continually confess our sins, so God may recreate us. We fall to Satan’s temptations every day, but if we confess and repent of our sins, God will cleanse us through Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Jesus’ work for us on the cross means grace and forgiveness for our daily lives. Like King David, we are sinners, but we are forgiven when we confess.
Lent gives us the opportunity to be cleansed by the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We are able to set time aside for reflection and confession as we look forward to the Good News of Easter.
You are dust and to dust you shall return.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for allowing us to confess our sins and to seek forgiveness. Help us to reflect on our daily lives. Open our hearts as we confess our sins– even the painful ones that we do not feel deserve forgiveness. Recreate new hearts within us, so we can go out into the world to share the Good News. Thank you for the promise of Easter. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Spend time in confession with a friend. What sins weigh on your heart? Hear God’s word of forgiveness through your friend.
2. What practices do you find helpful to your faith during Lent?