Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 30, & 32; Ezekiel 39:21-29; Philippians 4:10-20; John 17:20-26
Today’s Writer: Madison Randolph
Can you see God’s mercy?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord be my helper! (Psalm 30:10) But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. (Psalm 32:10) “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel”. (Ezekiel 39:25)
When I first skimmed through these passages the word, mercy, jumped right off the page. As I take my journey through Lent, I am reminded of God’s abundant mercy. Lent brings a time to examine ourselves and “to lighten the load,” as Doug said.
We yearn for God in distress. We yearn for God in sorrow, and we yearn for God in the deepest of trouble. And, God answers us with a gift. What is that gift? That gift is mercy, which equates to love.
Our confession to God does lighten the burdens weighing on our hearts. I personally look forward to the forty days of Lent and Advent each year because it is a time that I become closer to God. It is a chance for me to commune with God in a more profound way, than in ordinary times. Lent simply brings me to a place that makes me feel God’s presence around me more.
Lent reminds me of the love of God. While confession is usually offered to us during penitent season as Anglicans, it is available year round. God shows us his love by granting absolution when we confess our transgressions.
Years ago, Jack and I worked through James Bryan Smith’s, The Good and Beautiful God. During one of the sessions, I had mentioned to Jack that each week I reflected on a sin that was constantly tearing at my heart and soul. He told me sternly to put that sin away, that God had forgiven me and that I need never bring it up again. I immediately felt a huge burden lifted from my being. This was truly the Love of God.
Love is Jesus’ business model. In what is known as the “High Priestly Prayer,” Jesus prays for all who believe and that all may believe in Him. Jesus prays, “I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).
C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity about how God is in us. Lewis writes, “He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another.” To me a miracle is performed here. This miracle happens in every believer, by effecting the spirit.
Remember during this young Lenten season that you do not have to carry a heavy burden. Offer them up to God through confession and know that your load will be lightened by the love and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for our souls, and cleansed our hearts by his passion.