NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR MARCH 16, 2014
As we approach “Second Sunday in Lent,” I hope that we are taking our 2014 Lenten journey to heart. As a season for inner spiritual reflection as we prepare for Easter, my prayer is that each of us will NOT use this time to spiritually beat ourselves up by concentrating too hard on our “sins.” That would defeat the purpose of our Lenten Journey. The purpose of the 40 days of Lent is to be a spiritual journey that enhances our walk with God by “looking for grace” as we recall the great hope we have because of Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf. This is reflected in a great hymn of the church “Grace, Greater Than All Our Sin.” The difficulty is that we too often, even on a Lenten journey spend too much time looking at our sin, rather than “looking for grace.” Thus, we find ourselves long in our thoughts on sin, but woefully short in our efforts in “looking for grace.”
As we come to the “Second Sunday in Lent,” my prayer is that you will be more “looking for grace” than looking at our sins. Think of it this way: Yes, we should acknowledge our sin and seek forgiveness. However, our sin is in the past, if we have sought God’s forgiveness, it is forgiven, period! Spent most of your efforts looking for God’s grace for the future.
“Looking for grace” and looking at our sin can be compared visually to the size differences between the windshield and the rear view mirror of an automobile. It’s almost impossible not to notice the size difference in the two. The rear view mirror is tiny in comparison to the size of the windshield. There is a very good and practical reason for that. As you take any kind of journey in the car, you should only spend enough time looking in the rear view mirror to get a perspective of what’s behind you. Upward to 99 percent of any journey in a car should be spent looking through the windshield at what is before you. This same principle applies our annual Lenten Journey as a journey of inner spiritual reflection. We should only look back at our sin for a perspective of the greatness of God’s love and forgiveness. Most of our Lenten Journey should be spent “looking for grace;” not just during our Lenten journey but on our entire faith journey. I suggest to you that this is best accomplished by “Looking Through God’s Eyes.”
Join us for worship at Covenant this week, this Second Sunday in Lent. I will be preaching more about “Looking Through God’s Eyes,” a sermon based on that great familiar scriptural text of John 3:1-21.