“As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” Mark 2:19-20
Lord Jesus, though I come from a “non-liturgical” background—one which never put much emphasis on the “church calendar,” I’ve never been more eager for the season of Lent to begin. Today is Ash Wednesday, and for the next 40 days we have the privilege of engaging in focused-reflection and heart-preparation.
It’s not a season for beating ourselves up, but for lifting you up. Too easily we forget the greatness of our need, and the 10,000 times greater provision of your grace. We are “Cinderella with amnesia”—losing touch with who we are, and Whose we are. Bring us back to Gospel-sanity in these upcoming weeks. Humble us. Gladden us.
Should we, like many, choose to “fast” something for the next 40 days, may it be for increasing our hunger for you, Jesus. You are the perfect Bridegroom who died to make us your cherished Bride. The work has been done, the “dowry” is paid in full, the wedding dress of your righteousness is ours, and the wedding Day is set.
Until that Day, teach us how to lament, Jesus—to embrace the “good grief” and grace-tears of contrition—not by navel-gazing, but by cross-surveying. With no condemnation handing over us, work fresh conviction inside us.
Show us the ways we love poorly, under-believe the Gospel, and over-believe our fears. May your kindness lead us to repentance, and your love compel us to love others as you love us. Please, Jesus. So Very Amen.