Last Sunday I listened to a sermon in church about Lent, which really touched me.
The priest who spoke, said that really Lent was about preparing (and purifying) oneself for the events of Holy Week, and about asking the question "Where do I stand with Jesus?"
- "Am I amongst the ones the shout and jeer 'Crucify him!'?"
- "Am I amongst the ones who spit and walk away?", or
- "Am I amongst the ones who carry his cross for him and weep at his feet?"
Some people like to prepare by giving something up - either something like luxury food items, or things which distract us in our daily lives (such as TV or the Internet).
Others prepare by taking up a new practice, such as daily Bible reading.
Personally speaking, I feel strongly prompted to look at how I treat my family. My heart is aching with the knowledge how badly I sometimes treat others - especially my own family!
Isn't it just the way that we often treat the ones we love the worst? By taking them for granted, by taking our bad moods out on them, by being thoughtless in our words and actions ...
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
If I cannot show love to those around me, then how different am I from those who spat and sneered at Jesus??
So, as Lent is about to begin, I am hoping and praying that (with God's help and grace) I will be able to
- be acutely aware of how much I love my family; and to
- show my love and appreciation to them in my words, my thoughts and my actions; and to
- resist the temptation to point out their faults and flaws.