REPENTANCE AND PREPARATION (LENT)

Who will prepare your way Mark 1:2

It’s both a question and the answer.  The answer is John the Baptist who prepared the way for Christ and the question for you in this season of Lent, who will prepare the way?

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “behold, I send my messenger ahead of youwho will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
make ready the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.'”
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1

WHAT IS LENT ANYWAY?

Lent is a companion on the road of suffering.  I willingly walk with Christ as Christ did in his life and ultimately in his death with my suffering and sin upon him.  Durning Lent I reduce myself and join God in the narrow and lower way of God.  The narrow road is the hard road, the difficult one.  Lent takes an act of the will.  Popular thinking and ease accompany the broad road and are eagerly ready for the celebration of the feast without the discipline of the fast.   The easy path wants fulfilled promises without the process.  Lent is a time to recommit to authentically following Jesus.  Authentic faith is willing to repent and willing to admit when we have wandered from God.  Authentic faith personally proclaims a surrendered life to grace and the gift of forgiveness.

Travel Lent with Jesus. “The benefits of the gospel are in Christ. They do not exist apart from him. They are ours only in him. They cannot be abstracted from him as if we ourselves could possess them independently of him.”
― Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters

And when you travel with him a subtle change occurs.  “When we behold the glory of Christ in the gospel, it reorders the loves of our hearts, so we delight in him supremely, and the other things that have ruled our lives lose their enslaving power over us.”
― Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters

Let us this Lent submerge ourselves in the gospel of Mark and emerge from the other side new and gloriously free sons and daughters of God.  Risen with him in grace. Reborn in eternal hope.

 

 

JAMIE RONNING

WHY LENT MATTERS.

 

What is lent but a way to intentionally reflect on the sufferings of Jesus on the cross, a call to repentance, and a deep awareness of our own mortality.  “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning…for he is gracious and merciful.” Joel2:12  This may sound like a real bummer- sin, suffering, death.  On the surface yes.  The reality of living in a broken world is that all of these things will remain prominent.  Jesus assures us that we will in fact face trials and suffering.  A lot of them.  We are mortal beings. This is an unavoidable reality.  Scripture tells us our home is not here on earth but in eternity.  But we typically live our day to day usually paying no attention to these truths or rather we find ways to avoid thinking about them altogether.  But what if a deep reflection and acceptance of our mortality actually enables us to fully LIVE?  Lent is the invitation.  It provides a break in the routine to stop, reflect, pray, and act.  Not so that we appease a wrathful and angry God, but to pay reverence to Him with a heart of gratitude for the deliverance of sin.  We are invited to receive the grace of God, live out our lives filled with forgiveness, peace, and hearts filled and He empty’s us of our shame, guilt, selfishness, and self condemnation.  It is God’s kindness which leads us to repentance.  His kindness is what transforms and changes us.  He died so that we may have life!  His crucifixion and resurrection is the very image of life springing forth from death. This is central to the gospel. Death could NOT defeat him.  Therefore we don’t have to be afraid of our mortality because Jesus conquered death itself.  Our passing is not the bookend to our narrative, it’s only the beginning!  So for this coming Lent, let us as a community publicly proclaim the gift of repentance and mortality in our own lives,  in order that we may offer courage to others to do the same!  We are not alone in this faith journey.  Lastly an encouraging quote written in a letter from C.S. Lewis to a dear friend of his on the topic of Easter.” We shall celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Christ…away with tears and fears and troubles!  United in wedlock with the eternal Godhead itself, our nature ascends into Heaven of Heaven.  So it would be impious to call ourselves ‘miserable.’  On the contrary, Man is a creature whom the Angels-were they capable of envy- would envy.  Let us lift up our hearts!  At some future time perhaps even these things it be a joy to recall.”
          Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful.  The invitation is yours!

 

CHARITY RATTRAY

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?

We will publish a blog each week and daily post a scripture from the gospel of Mark.  Read and dive in with us.  Also consider what you will give up on this challenge.

Charity: A negativity fast. May my words be grateful no matter the circumstances. (I’ll need some prayer ya! This is gonna be good)

Julie: social media fast

Kaitlin: tv, Netflix and all that!

You: what will you give up to join Christ on the narrow path?
We will publish a blog each week and daily post a scripture from the gospel of Mark, who by the way is associated as a disciple of Peters. Also fun fact in all the earlier paintings he has a lion or a winged lion with him in the painting. #historicalart He is a gospel evangelist and was the first to take the gospel to Egypt.

Prayer for Day 1.
Lord today I intentionally prepare my day for you and in all my paths I return to you.
Challenge: Read the Gospel of Mark for 1-2 min.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s