When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” –Matthew 19:25-26, NRSV
Something is calling to be given up in you and me. It’s hard. But, it is invitation. An invitation from the God of all creation; from the God who is revealed to us in Christ Jesus. The giving up gives place for the more—more life, more clarity about what matters most, more you and me—the genuine you and me.
Have we got the guts and the capacity to do that? Well, yes. With and in Christ, it is possible! –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- What is calling to be given up in you this Lenten season?
- How does the giving up give space for the “more” you are seeking?
- Prayerfully dwell with Matthew 19:25-26. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” –Luke 18: 9-14, NRSV
And maybe those 40 days of “giving up,” of fasting (whether from food or a news feed), or surrendering power or confidence, or confessing, “I can’t be this; I can’t do this on my own,” will alter something at my core . . . forever. Maybe that is what I dislike most about Lent. Maybe that is why I have to be driven to it, rather than politely invited. –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- How is the Lenten challenge to give something up actually changing you at your core? Are you willing to be changed at your core?
- How do you respond to the invitation of humility and surrender that come in the Lenten wilderness? What is the deepest call of this season for your life?
- Prayerfully dwell in the parable from Luke 18:9-14. What is God’s invitation to you in this text?
Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? –Matthew 16:26, MSG
I don’t get to the vulnerability of Lent’s invitation without a fight; without strong resistance. Give up something for Lent. Give up an addiction: coffee, CNN, this month’s top 40 countdown, Facebook, impatience. “Oh, yes,” I say, “I’m not going to trivialize Lent by just giving up chocolate. It means so much more.” Well, yes it does, Dave, but don’t use your non-trivialization to sophisticatedly rationalize your way around giving up a habit bordering on addiction! Lent does nudge, push, even drive us to give something up! –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- What habits “bordering on addiction” are calling for your attention this Lenten season?
- Where do you notice resistance in the giving up nudges of Lent? Is there something you are invited to release that you are still making justifications for clinging to?
- Prayerfully dwell in Matthew 16:26. What is God’s invitation for you in this text today?