Are any of you giving up anything for Lent? I know lent is typically assumed a Catholic tradition, but in recent years more and more of my non-denominational or evangelical friends have been making sacrifices during this season. I've never really participated seriously in the past, but for some reason fasting during the season leading up to Easter when Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice seems like a good idea this year.
Last Thursday I was continuing through my Read-the-Bible-in-
As I read, it felt entirely real and present, like I was there with Him, my feet covered in dust as I munched on bread, sipped wine, laughed and reclined at Jesus's breast in the upper room.
I was the one who Jesus invited to the Mount of Olives to pray, but fell asleep while danger for my beloved Lord lurked in the shadows.
I was the one who was so confident that I would stand by Jesus to the end, but less than 24 hours later denied Him three times during His darkest hours. His eyes piercing mine on the 3rd denial.
I was in the crowd confused and overwhelmed as people shouted "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!" Not quite sure how things took such a dramatic turn from the warm "Hosannas!" that filled the streets a week before.
And I wept and wept as I read how they hurled insults at Him, mocked Him, humiliated Him, and beat Him within an inch of His life as He hung naked, black-blue and blood soaked on the Cross.
I wept as I read that a few breaths away from death, He spoke mercy and love over his accusers. How His gentle heart showed grace and compassion for the criminal hanging next to him. How even as He stumbled to the place called "the skull," where he would be crucified he found a way to encourage the women weeping over His death.
And the lines on my Bible began to blur under the tears as I found myself literally gasping for breath and sobbing loudly at my dining room table. Overwhelmed by the price that my perfect, precious Jesus paid. Overwhelmed at how selfish and self-centered I am sometimes. And thankful beyond what prayers or useless words on a page can convey...
Willow stared at me, very concerned for her mama('s sanity). I glanced at the clock. Blew my nose from the runny snot-fest. Re-applied some mascara and some powder to my blotchy face. I needed to pull myself together. I was on my lunch break and had to go back to work and be somewhat presentable. How is that possible with the weight of the cross hanging on my shoulders?
Now, I know the story ends well. He doesn't stay on that tree forever, but I can't stop thinking about the sacrifice. All that Jesus did for me and I can't give up dessert/facebook/soda/TV/(Insert-distraction-here) for 40 days? I guess i've made my decision. I will be participating in Lent, it's just a matter of what small sacrifice can I make? I guess you all will find out tomorrow.