Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Embracing Discipleship: An invitation to a holy Lent

Most of us would like to live a life of extraordinary quality that is not only fulfilling but also carries significance beyond ourselves. More than likely that is among of the reasons we become Christians. Fortunately, it is exactly the kind of life Jesus promises if we will follow him. So, we might ask, why isn’t it happening as it was promised? Why does it seem that I am living a life of quiet desperation?

I go to church; I read from the Bible; I pray; I try to be a good person and to serve others; yet, my life with Jesus doesn’t seem to be much more than something added onto my already too complex life.  When we feel that way, many of us try harder, pray harder, study harder, and try to figure out what we’re doing wrong because that’s what we think Jesus wants us to do. What we don’t realize is that in the midst of all this, Jesus may just be asking us “Aren’t you tired of all this yet?” Maybe that’s why so many people get burned out on religion.

Instead, Jesus says, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll find your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn from me. If we hear him in this way, we realize that Jesus calls us away from the hows and whys and whats into the rhythm of his life of grace.
We need first to realize that Jesus is not a problem to be solved, but a person to know. Too often, we may treat him as a “how” or “what” and inevitably end up in the cycle of trying harder to work out an equation that God never meant for us to solve. Instead of trying harder, we need to trust more. None of this is new, and the danger as you read this is that you may dismiss it as so much religious jargon. “I know it is a relationship; I know I need to trust him.” Yet, we almost always slip right back into the cycle of trying harder and the extraordinary life we want to live eludes us.
My prayer is that, during this holy season of Lent, you’ll be able to step into the rhythm of grace that Jesus provides. I pray that you won’t just stand there, but that you will actually hear the music of Jesus’ life and begin a never-ending dance with the One who is the eternal Lover of your soul. True, God’s gift of grace, Jesus—the Word made flesh, is a mystery. “No mysteries for me,” you say, “what I want is the facts.” Do you say that to your lover? Of course not, because when we fall in love, it’s all about mystery. Why should it be any different with God.

“Come,” Jesus says, “follow me.” That is the call we hope to hear all through Lent here at St. Luke’s – and we hope to explore just how we can do that. Come ... and see!

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