Lent is designed to prepare us for Easter, when we will celebrate the risen Christ. But before we get to Easter, we must deal with Good Friday - the night when Christ is crucified. And that crucifixion in all of its gore shines a harsh light on my selfishness. On that night, God the Father chose to turn his back on his own son. He chose to let him suffer and die as payment for our sins.
I have a daughter, and if you ever tried to hurt her, you would have to kill me first. And I'm not an easy out. I would use every last bit of my strength to keep you from hurting my child. Even knowing that, I cannot begin to imagine the sacrifice that God made for me. It was the most selfless act ever.
I think helping a friend move on a Saturday is a sacrifice. I don't know the first thing about sacrifice, or about love. "Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12b-13) By that definition, I don't know that I love that many people. Isn't it sad that after so much has been sacrificed for me, that I find it so hard to truly sacrifice for others? Isn't sad that I find it so hard to love?
A Prayer For The Eighth Day Of Lent
Lord, we are a selfish people. We care more about our own comfort than we do about those in need. We mistake discomfort for sacrifice. We dare question your love and your goodness, even though you sacrificed your son for us. We do not want to turn from our selfish ambitions, so we declare you imaginary, irrelevant or dead in order to avoid the sacrifice that following you demands. Give us opportunities to truly sacrifice in your name, and send your Holy Spirit to empower us to sacrifice when you ask us to.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
-Ben Reed, February 25, 2010