Sacrificing leads to Freedom
Giving something up for Lent has become routine. However we must look past it and see it as a sacrifice. We must ask; is this sacrifice bringing me closer to God? The more challenging the sacrifice we choose to make this Lent the more we will need the Lord’s grace to persevere in making this sacrifice.
We first accept the challenge to sacrifice at the beginning of Lent, much like Christ, when He embraced the cross on the road to Calvary. If we have chosen well, we soon learn how dependent we were on the habit or thing we opted to “give up” for Lent. Unknowingly, we had put this dependency before God in our lives. When we make a sacrifice and give all to Jesus, we find He takes our sufferings upon His shoulders. In return, He gives us untold strength to walk our life’s journey without the habit or thing we gave up.
Along our journey we may fall, but Jesus comes to us through our inner strength, so we can get up and keep going. We also encounter Him through the many people who encourage us to persevere in our sacrifices. The journey entails suffering and often humiliations as we realize our dependency upon Christ Jesus. At the end of our journey to conquer our dependency; we gaze upon Him who helped us along the way. He is crucified for us, the ultimate step to take our sins away, so we may no longer need anything but Him. We learn first hand, it is through joining our sacrifice to His that we are truly free and find joy in resurrection.
* Written for Seton Hill University's campus ministry 3/2/08 newsletter,The Vine
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