The season of Lent is upon us and as you all know, Lent is a season of repentance. The act of repentance means, of course, that we turn and go a different direction or quit what we once did. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made to make atonement for sin. Sometimes the making of those sacrifices became mere formalities without the worship of the heart.
King David, a faithful proponent of formal sacrifices, learned his lesson from his fall into sin and writes these words: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart; O God, you will not despise.” God had broken David’s spirit by using the prophet Nathan to convince him of his sin. David confessed his sin to God and in his brokenness claims the mercy and promise of God. You see, it’s his broken spirit that presents to God a pleasing sacrifice. Now, the external sacrifices on the altar reflect the internal spirit of dependence on God for everything.
Sometimes, perhaps more than we want to admit, we too are guilty of religious formalism. We think that our external acts like, attending worship, contributing financially, or serving on church boards, or giving something up for Lent count as sacrifices we make for God. All the while, we may have haughty, hardened spirits with bad motives. …………………. One thing we forget! God knows our heart, and, if we do follow him, he will lead us to brokenness where we too can recognize the inadequacy of sacrifices. --------------------------------------------------------- Our recourse is that we look to the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. God accepts Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as ours and then’ we can turn and present ourselves as living sacrifices in the way we love. Broken, we remember the one who was broken for us. And so, we pray today and all through this Lenten season, Lord, break our hearts so that we may serve you. Amen:
Yours in Christ,