“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. –2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NRSV
Here’s the unwelcome truth. The God of immeasurable love and mercy and acceptance is most often made real to us in our weakness and in our flaws and in the displeasure with our unpleasant self. In our imperfection, says Richard Rohr, “the cross of failure becomes the catapult toward transformation.”
I’m not sure this reflection will do much to cause you or me to walk into the risk of that which is ultimately the Good News, the Gospel, but that’s what we’re offered. –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- When has the God of immeasurable love, mercy, and acceptance been made real amid your weakness and flaws?
- What would it mean in your life to accept your imperfections? How is the “cross of failure” inviting deeper transformation within you this season?
- Prayerfully dwell with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. What is God’s invitation to you in this text today?
It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. Romans 8:10-11, MSG
Lent is primarily about dislocation. It is about the inability to go on with business as usual. “The ashes of Lent,” says Ron Rolheiser, “invite us . . . to leave our regular beds and tables to sleep and sit patiently for a while in the ashes . . . so that some silent, inner, gestation process can teach us what it means that we are dust and that we are invited to turn from sin to the gospel.” –David Brock, Driven Into Lent
- When have you experienced transformation through dislocation on your spiritual journey?
- How is the Spirit prompting you to slow down or cease “business as usual” to be more attentive to what is growing within?
- Prayerfully dwell in Romans 8:10-11. 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?