Lent: A Season of Repentance and Renewal

Lent Low Res

Today’s post was written by Deaconess Intern Abigail Meyer. Concordia’s Chaplaincy Department actively contributes to our resident’s well-being, especially during the Lenten season. Enjoy!

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of a 40-day season in the Church Year of penitence, fasting, and sorrow for one’s sin. The 40 days are in remembrance of Jesus’s 40 day fast in the wilderness to prepare for His ministry. During this time, Jesus was tempted by Satan and resisted every temptation, something that the rest of us cannot say of ourselves.

As I tell the young children during their Bible lesson in childcare at the Cabot campus, “sins are the bad things we do that make God sad.”

Someone is always very quick to say, “My brother does bad things! One time, he kicked me!”

Then I ask, “But what about you? Have you ever done something bad to your brother?”

Sometimes it’s hard for the child to remember doing something bad to his or her brother, but I’m sure if I asked the child’s brother he would have a long list of all the bad things that child has done.

We are always more inclined to hold on to the sins of others against us, than our own sins against others. It has been this way since the Garden of Eden.

This is why, during Lent we repent of all the sins we have done, the ones we know and remember and the ones we do not know and remember, our sins against others and our sins against God. Really all sins are sins against God. Whenever we hurt anyone, we hurt someone created by God in His image, whom He loves infinitely.

As I say to the children in childcare, our sins make God sad. It hurt him to punish Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, just as it hurts a loving father to punish his beloved children. It hurts God when we hurt someone that He lovingly created. It also hurts God that His creation could be flawed enough to cause others to hurt or to cause Him to hurt. This is not a result of God’s faultiness in our creation, He alone is perfect, but it comes from our own daily choices since the Garden of Eden to put ourselves over God and our neighbor.

God feels deep sorrow and anguish over our sins. He felt sorrow because of His infinite love for us, His beloved creation. Because of His infinite love, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Because Jesus is God, He, alongside God the Father, feels sorrow for our sins and for the suffering it has caused us. It hurts Him to see us in pain, which is why He has promised since the Old Testament not to leave us in those moments and to hear us when we cry out to Him. It hurt Him so much that He was willing to be born as one of us and to suffer alongside us. Ultimately, He suffered a horrible, shameful death on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins and spend all of eternity in heaven with Him when we have faith in His death and resurrection for us. Our faith, not being a good work of our own, but a gift He gives us through His Holy Spirit.

This was God’s plan from the very beginning. Before we were even created, He knew we would fall into sin. He also knew that He would send His Son, Jesus to save us. God knew that only His Son could live a sinless life and suffer and die to cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness. Through Jesus’s suffering, God ended all suffering. Now we wait with eager anticipation until the day we are made new and united with God and those who love God in His kingdom which has no end.

It is good for us, like God, to be sorrowful of our sins. We set aside the Lenten season as a special time to do this. However, this is not what earns God’s favor. He already loved us before He created us, and through His Son’s sacrifice, He is able to forgive us and to unite us with Himself for all eternity. We know that every Lent ends in Easter Sunday, when we will celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus. When we remember our sins, we also remember that they have already been washed away in the blood of Jesus.

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