The gift of freedom of confession and repentance
Pastor Barry Klein, Staples Church of Christ
I am grateful for the various seasons and holidays that we have throughout the year. Both variety and traditions are lived out in seasons and holidays. The important thing to remember is to keep the season and holiday connected to the One Who makes it all possible. When you and I don’t keep this connection, we find idols in our lives. Do you know what an idol is? An idol is not only a golden calf back in the Old Testament of the Bible. An idol is often something good that has lost boundaries from God and connections to God. An idol becomes an “all in all” in our lives “at all costs”.
It is freeing to live with the imagery of the “open hands” of dependency upon and gratitude to God, the Creator, Sustainer and Owner of ALL things (and people). The contrast is living with the clenched hands of self-centeredness and entitlement. I owe this imagery, whether it was original or not to him, to the late Fr. Dick McGuire. Now, it’s far easier to write this than it is to live it.
We are in another season of the year where we are “preparing” for the marking of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection toward the end of this month and the beginning of next month. The key is to make this season and the Easter Resurrection weekend “connected” to God in a way-of-life throughout the year.
We see what happens to Christmas when it gets disconnected from the Jesus Christ of Christmas. We see what happens to “love” on Valentine’s Day when it becomes disconnected to the Author of Love (I John 4:16). And if this Lenten season gets disconnected from the year round crucified and risen Jesus, these weeks will drift off again into oblivion.
We all have the tendency of Adam and Eve to either run (“hide”) from God in our sin (Genesis 3:8-10) and/or blame someone else for the sin (Genesis 3:12-13). God has a better plan that gives us daily freedom. It is called “confessing our sin (James 5:16) and turning away from sin-poverty and back toward God-life in repentance (Acts 2:38).
What a freeing way to live throughout the Year!