Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the church begins the journey through Lent to Easter, walking and identifying with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through his example of prayer and fasting in the desert while he was being tempted.
We are reminded again to follow Jesus as he calls us to do, most poignantly as he tells the young rich man to follow him, by putting God first in his life, and selling all his possessions and giving them to the poor. N.T. Wright in After You Believe describes it like this:
"But what we notice in Mark 10 is something which seems to portray in a different dimension. For start, it is a call, not to specific acts of behavior, but to type of character. For another thing, it is a call to see oneself as having a role to play within a story - and a story where, to join up with the first point, there is one supreme Character whose life is to be followed. And that Character seems to have his eye on a goal, and to be shaping his own life, and those of his followers, in relation to that goal."
"The message that Jesus – the crucified Jesus! – is the world’s true Lord is to be made precisely through the church’s following in his footsteps"
This obedience is not works but a building of character, virtue as Wright describes it, that aims at a goal. The goal is for our character to fuse with our maker and develop in us: faith, hope, love, humility, chastity, patience, gentleness, the virtues that our broken world precisely needs. It is in this season that I am reminded, that Christ Jesus our Lord suffered so that we would live, and that we by clothing our self with Christ (Romans 13:14), may bring this same Good News into our broken world.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20)