Entering Into Lent
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Feb 24, 2017
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A few years ago I had a scary encounter with a masked man wielding a knife. I remember him with gratitude, though, since he was an orthopedic surgeon to whom I paid hundreds of dollars (thanks to good insurance) to correct some problems with my right knee. The horizontal recovery period gave me a chance to ponder pain that we choose voluntarily, sometimes for our own good.
While rehabilitating, I persisted in choosing pain because I knew that working through the soreness would allow my knee to regain its full benefits.
By submitting myself to the physician's authority, I trusted that he had my best interest in his scope -- I trusted that my health and wholeness was his primary goal and purpose. The physician/patient relationship has been chosen through the years to be the best analogy to God's approach to us, especially as we enter into Lent.
During the coming weeks we will not so much hear about a penal God who wants to punish us in our sin, but One who wants to come alongside of us as a physician, diagnose us as needing mercy, and begin the restorative process of healing. Sometimes it hurts! But in the end, we receive a life of renewed mobility and original intention.
First, we hear about God's authority in this relationship by claiming God as the "Transfigured Christ" who fulfills and transcends the law and the prophets. It is such a one who can restore us. And beginning with Ash Wednesday (March 1), we claim the stooping nature of God's servant love, a merciful care that meets us in all of our temptations and brokenness and rehabilitates us. And as we move through the first few weeks of Lent, the stories become more poignant as to our need and God's forgiving nature. It's a story not to be missed!
Join us at Holy Innocents' as we conclude the Season of Epiphany and begin Lent. And more importantly, join Christ in the journey of love and forgiveness each and every day.