Lent: A season to toss or add?
Many people view Lent as Plan B for failed New Year’s Resolutions. Therefore, for many people Lent is following that quaint custom of giving up some pleasure. And so, we toss, pitch, fling, resolve and shed a big crocodile tear while bragging about giving up Brussels sprouts for Lent. But Jesus did not venture into the wilderness to lower His fat intake or curb caffeine nerves. Jesus didn’t go into the wilderness because He wanted to exchange steak for a diet of locusts and wild honey. The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights of prayer to add the power of God so that He could accomplish the mission of God.
Even while reading this article Satan is whispering: “Give up movies or Rocky Road ice cream for Lent, give up something to show that you are pietistic, but for heaven’s sake don’t add anything.” But Lent is a time to add the power of God to our lives. As Paul writes: “Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephs. 6:11). The armor includes a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, a helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”
Satan says: “Give something up but for heaven’s sake don’t add anything.” But Lent must become a time when we like Jesus add such things to our lives as “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, repay no one evil for evil, bear one another’s burdens, be kind to one another, forgive one another, love your enemies, be merciful even as your Father in Heaven is merciful.” And just think, if you would add all of those things, we preachers would be out of a job!
Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information.