Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46
There are many reasons why I love the season of Lent. It is a time set apart that forces us to consider our failures, shortcomings and all that separates us from God and then do something about it! For me, it is also a time to give up myself. Just like some forbidden substance or activity, I consider these six weeks a reprieve from me and all my boorish issues. I get so tired of myself. “Dana” needs to go the wayside just like online shopping and wasted time skulking on Facebook. What about you? Wouldn’t you like a reprieve from all the negativity, self-doubt and harmful thoughts that corrode your brain and heart?
But here’s the catch—instead of obsessing over ourselves, why don’t we actually serve, welcome and pray for those who are lost, hungry, tired, thirsty, naked, and imprisoned. Let’s refocus our energies and commit to loving our neighbors as much as we love and obsess over ourselves. If we do this then there will be no need to separate goats from sheep—we will be living as one in safety and in abundance in God’s merciful care.
I pray you will, like me, find this stretch of Lent not a burden but a gift. Look out for your neighbor and if you cannot directly alleviate someone’s suffering then pray this blessing as you walk or drive by: Jesus, please take care of that person; may you provide for them as only you can. Bless them. Love them. Protect them. Amen.
Gracious Spirit, come down and save us from ourselves. May you infuse your healing goodness and mercy on all humankind. That by your Spirit we may acknowledge and alleviate the suffering around us rather than obsess over our own. Help us to help our neighbors. Help us to see you in everyone we meet. Help us to love you more. And give us the hope that where there is no way you will make a way. Amen
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