An incredible Lenten Friday Sacrifice – the “safe” distance.

Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:

 “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you. 18 “When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you. 19 In a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me; and because I live, you also will live. 20 When that day comes, you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me, just as I am in you.” John 14:16-20 (TEV)

From there, where you are working, let your heart escape to the Lord, right close to the Tabernacle, to tell him, without doing anything odd, “My Jesus, I love You”. Don’t be afraid to call him so—my Jesus—and to say it to him often.(1)

Memories of Fridays growing up – fish sticks for lunch, Filet of Fishes for Dinner, Occasionally clam strips and sometimes, if things we going well – baked stuff shrimp.  Move forward into my early twenties, and working as a manager at McDonald’s – and we have to covert to extra friers to handle the demand for fish, because our unit was in a heavily hispanic area.

No meat on friday – no burgers, or steaks, or bacon or pork.  Not even spaghetti and meatballs!  I wish I would have understood lent as a kid, even as a young man, and the sacrifices that we were strongly encouraged to make.  (Try showing up at a Catholic Jr. High School with a baloney sandwich for lunch.  Still remember that day…)  Abstaining from things, and even fasting are not bad, but very solid practices, given the understanding that should accompany them.  They are not to make us more attractive to God, but rather, to free us to focus on Him.  (Something we should strive to do all the time btw – not just during Lent!)

A suggestion- spend little moments of time throughout the day thinking about the verse above.  The words of Christ, as he prepares his followers for His cross, for His death, but also for His resurrection.  A great passage to contemplate, over and over, during our Lenten journey. 

We must realize that because He lives, because we are united to His death and Resurrection we live, in Him. We are with Him, we aren’t far off.  

Most of us, seem to prefer to live a distance from God.  We want His blessings, and church sometimes isn’t a bad thing – especially when others are stressing us. We won’t Him in the background, just at the edge of how far we think our voices will cry, when we need to be rescued. Perhaps we are worried that He won’t like us close up, or that He will ask us to do something, to make some sacrifice,, or perhaps, He might want us to give up something closer and more meaningful to us than steak or bacon….yeah – you know – that sin we don’t want everyone to know about, or that resentment we nourish, because of a pain caused years ago.

It is time to give that up, to sacrifice that distance, to come close to God, to let Him draw you near, to make you an integral part of His family.  No more hiding, no more looking in from the edges… time to admit, to confess, to cry our in praise and adoration – My Jesus, i love you!  

For such is the response of faith, or trusting in Him and His revelation, of knowing His presence.  Of depending upon Him.

 

 

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2697-2700). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 15, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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