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I praise my awesome God
His name of rich, warm, burning gold...
I bury my face in it and
let it absorb my tears .
His coat is sewn lovingly by
armies of angels
and he roars, my Lion of Judah, he roars and the world
His eyes pry into my heart and devour the unholiness he finds there.
He lifts me up with grace to meet Him.
Poem by the Artsy Episcopalian.
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Temptation and lust wraps itself so stealthily and skillfully around me that I see why the Bible refers to it as a "lion awaiting someone to devour."
Death always follows sin. We are saved only by His grace. While I like to look down my nose about the childish Israelites who complained incessantly in the wilderness, I wonder really, if I am any different. I look always to what I WANT to do and how the narrow road is such a struggle.
Many times, we wonder what needs to be done, when the issue is really what will be actually DO. Christ is about doing. Reflecting is necessary, but it comes down to doing.
I am always ashamed at how many times I turn my back on is Amazing Grace, and I am always humbled by how his nail-scarred hand pulls me back.
We like to think that we are lost on the current, but the Spirit of God is moving us, ushering us, somewhere, always where we should go.
Coming from a different Protestant background, Lent was recognized as a time, but was viewed primarily as "Catholic" and even some of my Protestant friends of other denominations (I've promised I wouldn't crack on Baptists because I was raised Baptist and have good friends who are Baptist, but most of these comments come from Baptists) that Lent was not representative of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness. That the Bible says NOTHING--about practicing Lent.
They're right. It doesn't.
The Bible also doesn't say anything about celebrating birthdays. Or even having a special Easter service. Or celebrating Christmas by giving gifts to each other (the wise men brought gifts to Jesus, not to each other). But as Christians, we still do it.
So...why do I love Lent?
I typically do not fast. I think it is something that is an individual decision (and health plays a factor), but I am trying to do a bit of "non-solid food" fasting (I have a blood sugar issue that could make complete fasting a bit unwise, and I have never felt "led" to do it.)
The point here is not about fast / not fast---but the point, at least to me---was that this has shown how I would eat mindlessly. We are blessed to be in a country where food is plentiful. I never really thought about eating or not eating (well, other than what I was going to have). But this makes me realize that I have been eating mindlessly---and how many other things have I been doing mindlessly as well?
So Lent reminds me to stay away from spiritual "mindlessness." That was something I had not realized before.
What are we doing as we wander in spiritual mindlessness?
It is about emptying ourselves of selfishness and automation, and re-centering ourselves in the grace of God.
We are blessed beyond our capacity to evaluate.
We have so much that we do not deserve.
We are captured by grace and catapulted into eternity---for we were chosen before we had chosen.
Oh Come, oh come, Emmanuel.
I'm sure this video has been passed around, but I want to share it. It seemed to be worth sharing.