Today kicks off the Christian season of Lent. So, I guess, Happy Ash Wednesday, you guys?
Lent is, surprisingly, my favorite time of the year. It pulls Christ’s life and death onto center stage, and only recently have I begun to appreciate her for her personality.
When I was a kid, Lent was a time to pick something ridiculously impossible to give up (I once chose Cadbury eggs. What the what?) and then pray loudly (and oftentimes before an audience), invoking my dependence on God to not crave that sweetly smooth fondant encased in milky delicious chocolate. (Are you craving Cadbury eggs yet? I’ll pray for you.)
But this morning, I read something that sums it all up quite nicely, from The Holy Bible: Mosaic‘s Lenten reading plan. It explains the season of Lent as a focus on humans’ sinful nature and…wait for it…God’s solution. I might have pumped my fist in the air when I read that.
Lent is not necessarily a season of deprivation, but truly a season of reflection.
It is a glorious gift from God, a specific period of time set aside to know Him more.
It is to understand, with greater depth each day, how truly impossible the distance between God and Man was. And not to stop there, but to also realize how deliberate the act of reconciliation must have been.
It is the most powerful message of the Gospel. It is the predominant tenant of Christianity.
It is God, calling to us, loudly and relentlessly.
Reconciliation is borne from the very heart of God, fed by His unquenchable desire to reconnect with us, to plug us back into Him, individually, and as His creation. It is the seed that encases God’s very identity.
But it is more than that.
It is action.
It is beyond the simple but profound yearning God felt for His estranged daughters and sons. It is leaps and bounds from His despair of separation.
It is God, breaking through the barriers of sin that kept Him from relationship. It is God, kicking in the door, desperate for His beloveds. It is God, removing us from the equation and instead substituting Jesus’ perfect worthiness, making us perfectly worthy. It is God, imposing His identity on us once again, refitting us into His image, an image worthy of life.
Reconciliation is, and has always been, God’s solution.
There is nothing — nothing — we can do to get there. But oh, that is beautiful. It is with purpose, with blood, with a violent passion, that God bridged that impossible distance with an impossible solution.
He is relentless, and for that, we live.