It seems strange to say it, but Lent can easily become a very selfish and self-centred time of year. During Lent, we are encouraged to examine ourselves, make changes, and try to draw closer to God. In our emotion-driven age, we can often fall into the trap of interpreting ‘draw closer to God’ as ‘have a deep feeling of peace inside’. It’s a short step from here to spending Lent monitoring our feelings and focussing on our emotional well-being.
Jesus offers a better way to draw closer to God.
‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me”.
‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”‘. (Matthew 25:34040 NIV 2011).
Lord, deliver us from the snare of a selfish Lent.