As I was praying the Church of England’s Evening Prayer last night I was struck by how frequently it talks about us being ‘set free’ in order worship Jesus. One mention says:
‘Open our eyes to acknowledge your presence, that freed from the misery of sin and shame we may grow into your likeness from glory to glory.’
It’s seems to me that Church is pointless if we skip this stage, this being ‘set free.’
And isn’t this what Lent is all about? Being set free from the things that have a hold on us; getting rid of those things that take up our time, our mental energy or those things that don’t have a positive impact on our bodies.
If we just have Sunday church that is merely talking about how we ought to be nice to each other we are really missing out. The difficulty is that we’d much rather talk about how we can love our neighbours because, in a way, it takes the attention away from us as individuals.
Please don’t get the impression that I’m sat here preaching at you. I’m as rotten a person as anyone.
I’m a pretty rotten person. I can be mean, selfish and lacking in compassion- and they are just the things I action. I’m so glad that none of you can really know what’s going on in my head! The revenge I act out in my imagination upon those who have hurt me is not suitable to share on morning radio! How much more vulnerable I make myself when I ask Jesus to set me free from resentment I feel or the constant temptation to put myself ahead of those around me.
Bound up in Lent a response to the basic Christian message. Jesus said,
‘Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you’
Really the question of ‘has you been successful this Lent?’ isn’t about if you’ve managed to keep off chocolate, social media or whatever fast you’ve chosen. But, it’s a question of, ‘have you sought for Jesus this Lent? Have you knocked on that door?’
Are you not sure? Well, just ask! You won’t be disappointed.
What does your Church do for Palm Sunday? I’d love to hear about your traditions. Please comment below.