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The holy season of Lent is now just a week away. I know you’ve been in preparation for this time for many, many weeks, even before Christmas. Shepherds of God’s flock are also members of that flock, little lambs dressed up in shepherd’s clothing.
It’s so important that as we are leading God’s people on their Lenten journey to the cross, we also make the journey. Lent is to be a time not just of extra effort, more sermons and services to prepare; it’s also a time for our own meditation on the cross of Jesus.And that is the heart of baptismal wellbeing, isn’t it? In Lent we remember who we are, poor, desperate sinners at the foot of the cross. In our daily times of reflection and meditation, we consider that Jesus Christ came and endure the cross and shame for me. It was indeed my sins that put Him there.
It’s a humbling thing to consider the price Jesus was willing to pay for my salvation. When I think of my sin, I think of how unworthy I am of His love and mercy and grace, His undeserved kindness toward me, His forgiveness of my sins.
And it’s humbling also to consider that now, because of His sacrifice, I have been lifted up to the heavenly places, forgiven, redeemed, loved with an eternal love, an heir of the kingdom of beauty and peace eternal!
I was there when they crucified my Lord, but I was also there when He rose up from the tomb! Humbling.
And humbled is a good place to be in this final week of preparation for the Lenten journey.
By right of your baptism into Christ, you are just the person that God needs to lead His people on this way of the cross. Servants of the cross are humbled that the cross was necessary to rescue us from damnation, and also humbled that we have the honor of lifting up that cross before the eyes of a desperate, needy world.
As you make your final preparations for leading the Lord’s people in worship, confession and meditation on the Word, take time to kneel before the cross. See yourself crucified there with Him.
But also take some quiet time to look forward to the empty tomb we’ll visit on Easter Sunday. Remember that in God’s baptismal grace you were raised there to new life in Jesus.
Then, properly humbled, you’ll be prepared to proclaim the good news of a Savior’s love with the hubris of a prophet. Which you are.
God bless your Lenten journey of faith, service and proclamation.
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