Today is Ash Wednesday, the day begins the 40 day Season of Lent. All Christians do not follow the Christian calendar and the various seasons because it is not found in the New Testament. But all Christians do realize the importance of reflecting on the 40 days of the temptation of Jesus. That is the focus of this season in the Christian calendar. And it is a necessary focus. We need to remember how Jesus was tempted. We need to remember how we are tempted. We need to remember His faithfulness to His Father. We need to remember our unfaithfulness. All of this prepares us for the Good News of Good Friday.
Today we bump up against our own mortality, our own weakness, our own ‘falling short’ of the glory intended for us as human beings in the image of God. We realize again that our sin and death are real. We realize again the relational consequences of our brokenness. If we didn’t know how our journey ends we would not and could not face a day like today.
But we do know how our journey ends and this gives us the motivation to enter a time of deep soul searching. We quiet our souls before the Spirit, asking to be known as we are known so that we can more fully humble and surrender ourselves to Christ. He gives us the life we want. But before that life is birthed anew in us, something has to die within us. Many things have to die. But our False Self doesn’t go quietly. Paul said our ‘flesh’ is at war against the Spirit and we are never free from this conflict (Galatians 5:17).
If we spend extra time in solitude and silence before Easter we will see more clearly the war within. Sometimes we must face the reality of our brokenness in a more intentional manner. When we do we will find ourselves yearning for our full salvation in Christ.
“Spirit of Jesus, bring to our minds what we need to confess and bring to our hearts what we need to be comforted so that we are drawn more fully into the likeness of the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. Amen”