Pastor Barry Hildebrandt
In Contemplation of Lent
On March 1 under God’s direction and with His blessing, Christians all over the globe will approach the Lenten Season with hallowed purpose. The unifying symbol of this significant time is the cross. Regardless of everything that might spread us out across the spectrum of Christianity, the cross speaks to us of a courtyard and an execution hill, of an ugly mob and the fleeing disciples, of betrayal and denial, of circumstances and forces which conspired to erect that instrument of death.
Yet in return our Savior offered only love: love that suffered and endured, love that died and triumphed, love that forgave and promised redemption. His cross still stands…its shadow projected across the entire world, whether recognized or not! So again this Blessed Season begins, offering us time to fortify our souls and to find new strength for our spirits through the power and love of Jesus’ cross.
These next forty days provide us a great opportunity for discovering the hidden treasure of silence. Each of us (if we will only do it) can use these upcoming weeks to take time out of our busy schedules on a daily basis for quiet and personal contemplation of such a love that moved our Heavenly Father to give up “His only Begotten Son.” Through our meditation and reading of this year’s Lenten devotional booklets, we can as a congregation gather at the foot of the cross for that “one thing needful.”
Lent also provides a chance to develop a deeper appreciation for God’s daily blessings to us and the ministry needs around us. So will increased corporate worship and Bible study and mission giving be marks of our increased Lenten commitment? Can we who have found hope and life in the presence of the cross continue on our way with no sense of responsibility toward those who do not know Christ’s redeeming love? So who might you bring with you on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights?
May the Holy Spirit enable us to consecrate our lives anew to our Lord and His Church during this special season! Remember this: we worship not a Savior who died and remains entombed in the past, but One who is alive and leads us even now!
Article first published in the March 2017 issue of Crossties Newsletter