A final word about Lent 2013

Back in February, I don’t know if you heard it, but I gulped super loudly when a few friends decided to challenge ourselves with posting everyday during Lent.  I knew that it would stretch me and my schedule if I were to jump in.  But those waters sure looked inviting….

Lent is the forty day process of preparing ourselves for Jesus’ sacrifice and The Resurrection.  It’s a contemplative time in the Church season designed to help us focus on Christ.  Often people give something up for Lent to help them with this.  Sometimes people add things, like creative prayer experiences or a new spiritual practice instead of sacrificing.  Lenten sacrifices or additions are supposed to help us focus on Jesus better.  This year I hit the Lenten ball out of the park by doing BOTH.  Yeah, I’m amazing.

Not really.  Not really at all!  Lent was hard for me this year.  Just like every year, it helped me put more perspective in my life as a sinner in need of the grace provided on Calvary.  I gave up secular music as my sacrifice (except for bands whose music does bring me closer to God like various Mumford & Sons songs or U2 albums).  I added posting each day on a theme provided by Rethink Church.  I hope I didn’t repeat myself too much, but you probably get to see what I care about throughout those 40-ish days.

Last week, one of those friends threw down one more aspect to the challenge.  Write a post called “A final word about Lent.”  So, the word I chose for this post is “word.”

I wrote quite a lot of words about a handful of things during this Lenten period.  Jesus, Lent, Scripture, my family, my passions, justice, loss, and community.  All of these things matter immensely to me.  They are words that I want associated with me and how people perceive me (except maybe “loss,” unless we’re talking about 5-7 pounds).  They are who I want to be.

All of those words have something in common, too.  They are tied together by the Author and Perfecter of my faith, Jesus the Christ.  The only reason I might have anything to say that’s worthwhile is due to the fact that God has spoken His word into my life.  I’m not just talking about “The Word,” as in Scripture, and I don’t mean “The Word,” as in Jesus of Nazareth.  God has clearly spoken into my life through those two means, but also through family/friends, acquaintances, circumstances, and God’s still, small voice.

I am who God has formed me to be because God has spoken words into my life.  They have shaped, challenged, stretched, and molded me.  That’s what I think we all yearn for in life, really.  We want to hear God’s voice speak to us.  We crave direction, security, answers, and support.  People point to God for those things, because when we receive them from God, the words we hear propel us.

The LORD is active in this world.  God speaks into our lives.  The Holy Spirit reminds us to love someone when they say something hurtful to us.  God stirs our hearts to care about the things dear to God’s heart.  God promises that He is working in the world, speaking into our lives–YOUR LIFE.

A final word about Lent 2013 - 4-3-13 - 1

I’d like to quote someone I respect very much about this.  My friend Bones is one of four friends who have journeyed with me during the photo/post-a-day challenge.  She said it very well when she talked about God speaking into our lives.

“I hope anyone that has read this blog during Lent or later hears a word you have needed to hear.  That something has spoken to you and points you to the One who sees you for who you were created to be.  That you take that first step and put yourself out there.  That you realize you are not of this world too and that the promise from God is for you as well.  You don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

Well said, my friend.  We all want to hear God speaking into our lives.  That’s the good news about God–The Spirit does that.  God is always ready to share with us.

Are we ready to hear?

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If you’re interested in seeing the other amazing things my friends wrote about, check them out here (listed alphabetically):

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And now, my Lenten journey is over for the year.  I’m going to throw a party–at least on here.  Check out tomorrow’s post for something I’ve loved ever since God opened my eyes to helping build the Kingdom of God!

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About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
This entry was posted in community, Jesus, Lent and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A final word about Lent 2013

  1. Nice. This was an amazing Lent. I’ve appreciated your thoughts and your Spirit throughout.

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