Keynotes – March 2017

Lent

The very word, Lent, can set us off in a direction of sadness. The imposition of ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday can cause embarrassment as we may not want to go out and have someone see us as “One of them.” A time of sorrow. A time of reflection. A time for repentance. A time to stop and listen to God’s law crush us with all of our sins.

What’s your impression of Lent? Is it a burden? Is it possible that Lent could actually lighten your load? What if you looked at Lent as a time for unloading? What if you were to drop one more load at the foot of Jesus’ cross each time you entered the church? Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Think of Lent as a transfer. Lent is a transition from us holding on to our burden of sin and handing it over to Jesus. “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.” (29-30)

Can you carry all of your sins? Aren’t they too much of a burden? Have you ever seen a child struggling to carry a “huge” bag and then their parent shows up and picks up the child plus the whole burden. Our Lord not only picks us up, but He also picks up our burden of sin and the sins of every other person. He can handle it!

What’s hard is for us to let go. Take some time this Lenten season to let go of your burden. Enjoy the freedom God offers you. By Easter I’m counting on you to let it all go so we can celebrate! Having trouble letting go? Let’s talk. God has given you the ability to share your burden and have it “surgically removed.” We call that absolution. Satan wants to tell you that your sin remains, but he’s a liar. He is jealous that God kicked him out of Heaven and he’s going to lie to you the rest of your life.

The truth is that Jesus died on the cross for all of your sins and they have been amputated. Maybe we still feel them. Maybe we still suffer consequences of them. Those are ‘phantom pains’ like when someone looses a leg and feels an itch in a place that doesn’t exist. Jesus took your sin away as surely as the sun rose this morning.

Let go of your sins; let Jesus wipe them away; and rejoice this Lent!

Pastor Oatman