An Invitation: to a Celebration!
A Come As You Are Party
No need to purchase an outfit: what you have on right now will do just fine.
No need to check your calendar for conflicts: come right now.
No need to find out who else is invited: YOU ARE and that is all that matters.
A week ago Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten Season for 2016. It will go on for 40 days. Many who believe Jesus was and is the Son of God will spend this time in humble gratitude for what Jesus did for them. They will fast some food or some activity that is significant to them. Or, they will, as in my case, decide to stop a bad habit and acquire a better habit in its place. They will allow this “Season” to be one of transformation. Just as the humble caterpillar enters its cocoon and emerges a graceful butterfly, those honoring this Season hope to emerge a better, more grace-filled version of themselves.
In many of my former years, I have elected to fast sugar .. or coffee .. or, not just sugar, but sweet pastries .. or some other exercise in self-denial. I emerged grateful for the aforementioned, embracing the delectable tastes once more. But, if I am honest, I cannot say I was changed, let alone transformed by the exercise in any discernible way. Over the years, though, I have to believe that there has been a gradual transformation. I now am fascinated by the WORD and the Words of God! I carry HOPE eternal in my heart that this world of woe belies. I believe in the Power of Prayer to effect change. ALL these things ~ and MORE ~ are due in part to my commitment to honor this Lenten Season which leads to the Via Delorosa which leads to Calvary which leads to the Tomb which leads to RESURRECTION MORNING!!!
What Lent requires of us is to Stand before Jesus, then to bow low. I don’t easily bow low; my natural self prefers to STAND TALL! But it is only in the laying low of self that the Journey to Truth occurs. Only the Journey to Truth leads to Redemption. And who doesn’t want Redemption?
“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”*
There’s a Party goin’ on .. non-stop! And YOU – Me – We ALL are invited, “just as we are”! We don’t have to get cleaned up or prepped in any way. All that we need do is say, “YES!” The saying is true that the ground is level at the foot of the Cross.
That means ALL are welcome.
Why not enter into Lent this year, if this is not your pattern? Even though we are just a bit more than a week into Lent, if you commit the remaining time to draw apart from the usual, to draw in to taste His Living Water,** you will never thirst again! You will find strength and peace for the day. Not a placid, no troubles place is this peace. Rather, it is a peace that looks beyond what sight sees and trusts that there is far more in the Invisible than all that is in the visible.*** It is a peace that endures EVEN in the tumult!
Jesus is the one who invites and His Holy Spirit says, “Come! See! Receive!” He was the First to show us LIFE Everlasting. We, too, can have not only Strength for the day, but LIFE abundant and Life Everlasting.
Jesus says simply, “Just come!”
*Psalm 34:8 **John 4:13-15; 7:38 ***Colossians 1:15-20