Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity (Joel 2:13).
There is a season, leading up to Easter, that has a unique rhythm all its own. A rhythm that has chimed through centuries of celebrating the Risen Christ.
Today we enter that season, cadenced with spiritual rhythms beheld by countless Christians who have gone before us. For the tempo, though ancient, has never lost its verve.
Often, in the season leading up to Easter, when we remember what Jesus suffered, we grieve. We mourn the suffering and death of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And we mourn our sin and rebellion that made it necessary.
We can, and should, rend our hearts—but we can’t remain there.
Instead, we can tune the season by remembering. And, in so doing, allow it to do the work of repentance. We can turn, draw near, and allow the gracious Lord to do the work of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation. A work He delights to do . . . to perfection.
As Jesus journeyed the Near East during those unprecedented ministry years, the real work He was doing in the world went unrecognized. In many ways, He was denied rightful praise, adoration, and worship. But the practice of remembering what He accomplished creates opportunity for us to acknowledge and declare in our day that He is God—God of the cosmos,
King over all . . . and Lord of my life.
But sometimes we find ourselves, as Adam and Eve, stuck in a hiding place. Then, the first thing to remember is that the Lord welcomes your return. There is no such thing as no turning back. As long as it is a day, turning is always possible. So, turn now. Turn to the Son, that He may shine on you. Make this season of reflection and remembrance a time to renew and deepen fellowship with Him.
In remembering, remember too that it is a season to celebrate.
Celebrate the gospel. Celebrate the atoning sacrifice and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Celebrate our rescue and restoration. Celebrate His resurrection, His victory over death. Celebrate the reunification of nations. Celebrate this new life we now live, in freedom and grace. Celebrate the beautiful Body of Christ. Celebrate Him!
It is always a good time to remember the mighty acts of God’s lovingkindness. But especially now. For now, in this season of great trial, we need to remember the hope and joy that is ours in the Lord.
So, let’s allow Him to resurrect our life in Him . . . for just such a season as this.
Father-God, lead our remembering and proclaiming of Jesus this season—as You have faithfully done for the ancients of the past. Tune our hearts to Your perfect will. And set the season to a rhythm of praise and celebration.
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