We are the walking dead. No, not zombies. But the clock is ticking. From the moment we are born, our bodies are wasting away. We were born to die.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
Psalm 103:13-16, ESV
So, what do our lives mean anyway? When I look at my life, sometimes all I can see is the mess.
We mess up. Daily. We serve ourselves. We hold grudges. We lose our tempers. We envy, we gossip, we seethe, and gloat, and gorge. We lust after. We belittle. We are impatient. We are greedy. We are filled with pride. It’s heartbreaking, really. People, we are so broken.
And brokenness is our birthright. Through Adam and Eve, there are consequences for our Earth, our relationships, and our work (Genesis 3). God said:
(to the woman) As a consequence of your actions,
I will increase your suffering—the pain of childbirth
And the sorrow of bringing forth the next generation.
You will desire your husband; but rather than a companion,
He will be the dominant partner.
(to the man) Because you followed your wife’s advice
instead of My command and ate of the tree
From which I had forbidden you to eat, cursed is the ground.
For the rest of your life,
You will fight for every crumb of food
from the crusty clump of clay I made you from.
As you labor, the ground will produce thorns and thistles,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
Your brow will sweat for your mouth to taste
even a morsel of bread until the day you return
To the very ground I made you from.
From dust you have come,
And to dust you shall return.
Genesis 3:16-19, VOICE
Can you feel your need? Do you get a sense of your lowliness? We are plain lost when our fellowship with God is broken. And we reject fellowship with Him when we sin.
God is faithful. He does not forsake His children, even when we sin, but intimacy with Him is impaired, until it is repaired through reconciliation (1 John 1:5-9). People are funny‚ we seem to fall to one extreme or another. Some of us marinate in our guilt over sin, when we need to simply confess, repent, and receive forgiveness. Others ignore sin, they say, “Oh! It isn’t all that bad.” Or, “I know other people who are much worse.” Or, “I can’t help it.” People who ignore their own sin also need to confess, repent and receive forgiveness and cleansing.
Q: What is sin?
A: Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law.
Obviously, we need to repent year round. We sin, grieving ourselves, other people, and the Lord on a regular basis. But during Lent, we sit in our ashes. We fast, instead of feasting. In observing Lent, we are intentional to recognize our constant, desperate need for Jesus, to appreciate the sacrifice of the Cross, and to marvel at the miracle of the resurrection. And we mark time in the Middle. This Lent, we are marking this middle time in a new way. Don’t miss this. It is really something amazing. Click here to Meet Me in the Middle.