I took a big risk by putting the word “death” in the subject line of this email. Death is a topic most of us take pains to avoid. The word makes us so uncomfortable that when someone dies, we substitute phrases like “pass away,” “departed this life,” or “went to be with the Lord.”
Lent challenges us to grow beyond these inhibitions and face our mortality head on. That’s what Jesus did in choosing to go up to Jerusalem for Passover rather than remain in the relative safety of Galilee. At the beginning of the journey, he made one of his most radical statements: “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25).
This is a glorious paradox of the Christian life — that we only find the deepest and truest purpose of our lives by dying to our own wishes and desires and giving ourselves completely to Jesus. Only by this spiritual death can we be born anew to receive the much richer and more fulfilling life that the Lord offers us by his grace.
What a beautiful gift this is. By giving ourselves fully to Christ, we no longer need to fear the death of our bodies. Just as importantly, we are delivered from an equally terrifying fear — the fear that we will die without ever having found the real purpose of our lives.
I have so much to learn about these topics. I am thankful for Lent and the opportunity to become a better student of such life-changing subjects as surrender, vision, repentance, and transformation. Let’s continue our study together this Sunday!
May you know God’s blessing until we meet on the first day of DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!
Stay warm and safe,