Do you think Lent is long? Maybe I’m the only whiner here. How quickly I leave the language of dying and descent for the happy ending! I’m already ready to celebrate.
Maybe I can blame it on the faith tradition I grew up in. We didn’t observe Lent. We were only resurrection peeps. Jesus wasn’t ever on the cross anymore. We were all about the Hallelujah and the Amen. None of the weeping or mourning because Jesus is alive. You can feel it build in this song as the crescendo follows the line, “I can see above the clouds, and I can hear him call my name Out LOUD! Heeeeeeee, He is Alive!” We sang that song all the time with guitars strumming along, and everyone clapping. It was good, too.
Perhaps I can blame it on our culture. We aren’t much into sacrifice these days. I looked up the definition of sacrifice the other day, and there was no mention of comfort or profit in it. Perhaps it’s only my generation. My dad told me the other day that the future generation is being ruined (I hope he wasn’t referring to my parenting skills).
I couldn’t help but recognize how desperately we avoid responsibility when we see things we don’t like or that make us fearful.
So, no blame. I take responsibility for my own whining. Isn’t it right that we should dislike suffering? Who wants to suffer? For me to say I desire suffering or to even be thinking like that is absurd and a privilege of a middle-class gal who has time to think on such things. If you ask someone in the midst of suffering, they will surely tell you that they want out. Who wants to sacrifice? Anyone, anyone, Bueller? Even after the definition, from my experience, I’m not sure I know what true sacrifice means. The closest thing I come to is in parenting. Perhaps God has given this season of life for that purpose.
The first sacrifices were made to God to show gratitude. Other sacrifices in Scripture came as a way of restoration. The sacrifice that Christ made by showing us how to be human on Earth should cultivate gratitude in us. The sacrifice Christ made on the cross is a way of restoration for us….for us to be made complete by experiencing God’s love.
God’s love is long.
It is long enough for you and for me.
It is love long in the midst of whining and abundance.
It is long enough to birth sacrifice.
It is long enough to carry through suffering…even to take the suffering on too.
After glimpsing this Long-God-Love, what is there to whine about?
O God of love everlasting, teach us to live in your love. Teach us this week about sacrifice. Show us restoration in which we can participate. Let our love be long. In Christ, our example, we pray, Amen.
Also linking with The Wellspring