During Lent, I would like to do posts related to it. My experience has been that such posts, except for some liturgical prayers at certain points don’t get as many hits. WordPress gives bloggers a general picture of actual hits, without indicating who hit it, so although I would not have chosen that option (or at least did not), I have come to gauge the number. But church seasons such as Advent and Lent are becoming more and more an important part in the practice of my faith in Christ. So that I want to share along those lines of the good news of King Jesus.
There was a point during our Ash Wednesday service when we came forward and one of our pastors marked the sign of the cross in ashes on my forehead. The ashes signify our mortality, that we will die, that we need new life. And repentance, as Lent is a season in which seek a deeper work in our hearts, asking God to reveal any sin we are unaware of. The first mark was vertical with the words, “dead in Christ,” followed by the horizontal, with the words, “risen to new life in Christ.” Those words echo the teaching of Romans 6 that by our baptism we are identified with Christ in his death and resurrection. This identification means a changed life. Sin is no longer to rule over us, since we are no longer under the law, but under grace. We’re not to let it rule, but to present ourselves to God as those who have been raised from death to life, and present our bodies in service to him in righteousness.
During the season of Lent I want to ask God to help me learn how to live out this reality more fully. Also to uncover to me ways in which I have lived contrary to that, or may be doing so now.
In Christ we are marked as dead to sin, and alive to God in our new identity in him. What difference does that make in our lives? It should make all the difference in the world. And that difference is to be seen in us together in Jesus for the world.