Reading:John 12: 20-33
Scripture“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.”(John 12: 26)
Reflection: Lent is more than 40 days of quiet reflection, of looking at how we are, who we are, and seeking to be closer to God through intentional prayer, meditation and self-denial. Our goals are lofty, and intentions pure. However, in the process of reflection, when considering our sinful nature in the context of repentance and preparation for Easter, we risk spending time lost in and obsess with regret. Our thoughts become, “how could I have…?” or, “if only I had or, hadn’t…”. In looking back, we have all the clarity of history, and the rosy hue that comes from forgetting some of the details, which is perhaps why we say hindsight is 20:20.
Often however, the truth is that we did what we did at the time, based on our focus on whatever we felt, knew or thought we knew, whatever we wanted or felt we deserved. On reflection we are now disappointed in ourselves and ashamed of aspects of our past behaviour. The work ahead of us therefore, is to gain a better understanding of ourselves to get in touch with and bring ourselves in line with what God desires of us so that we can engage in the type of thinking and behaviour change that will avoid similar action or circumstances in the future. There is no magic to the 40 days of Lent so it may take us longer than the Lenten period. The important thing is for us to get started and to remain committed to the path of continued growth in Christ.
We need not be crushed by things we did. We need not be paralyzed by sins remembered. We need not grieve actions we failed to take. Our Saviour died so that we might be free from the bondage of sin. Philip and Andrew, the disciples and who walked closely with Jesus emerged from regret and doubt and fear and grief after Jesus’ death to spread the Gospel, strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Surely then, we can emerge from contemplation renewed by the same Holy Spirit, and not consumed by sorrow over our past. Lent does not stop at repentance and regret. It moves forward to renewal.
Meditation: Do you really wish to be renewed in Christ?
Prayer: O Lord our God, cleanse our hearts of all that does not accord with Your will and wish. May we be strengthened and enlightened by the Holy Spirit to move forward into a new and better life with You. Amen.
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
25 March 2021