We are nearly two weeks into Lent and by now if you are like me, I must confess, you have failed at Lent in one way or another. Yes, failed at Lent! And, if you are surprised that your pastor has failed at Lent then perhaps you need to be reminded that your pastor is human and fallen just like you. However, let me say if you are approaching Lent with an attempt of being “perfect” than perhaps you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Let me tell you, we do not practice Lent outside the lens of grace. We must remember that grace is all throughout our spiritual practices and relationships. God has extended grace to us and we must be able to extend grace unto ourselves. So, be freed from the idea that Lent is just keeping a perfect discipline for 40 days. It’s more than just fish and diets or that reason you need to kick the bad habit. Lent is intended to be so much more but if and when you fail at Lent know your Lord is merciful. It is for a pastor to write this but you are supposed to fail at Lent. As you fail you are also reminded that you are not perfect. Lent is not about being perfect but being reminded that you need the very one who is perfect in every way to be in your life.
You are invited into the life-giving grace that Jesus offers to all who come to him with repentant hearts, knowing that they can never perfect their lives. Jesus reminded his followers again and again of the open invitation of the Father,
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:27-30
So as you walk through this Lent be encouraged by your failure, be encouraged that you can’t earn or lose God’s love any more than what you already have, be encouraged that this time is a gift for you to remember of your friendship and that his blood covers all of your failures.