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Lent 1 B ~ "This Lent..." ~ Rev. Benjamin Roberts, D.Min.


Every Lent I seem to do the same things.  I think about the great season of Lent and the joy of preparing for the great feast of Easter, and I start to plan.  I will make this sacrifice.  I will not eat this particular food.  I will say these additional prayers.  I will take more time to be alone with God alone.  I will be nicer.  I will be more patient. 


And then, in the midst of all of those plans, I am surprised when Lent begins.  It happens so quickly.  One evening it is Ordinary Time and the next morning is Ash Wednesday.  I have to make my list of prayers.  I have to remember which foods I promised not to eat.  I need to choose another sacrifice for Lent.  I need to make another promise to God.  I need to slow down, but quickly.  There is so much to do.  There are so many promises to make and promises to keep.


Every Lent I seem to do the same things.  But maybe this Lent, things could be different.  Maybe this Lent, I will not worry so much about the sacrifices that I should make.  Maybe this Lent, I will not worry so much about eating this food or that one.  Maybe this Lent, I will not try to add any more prayers to my day.  Maybe this Lent I will choose only one thing, because only one thing is truly important.  Only one thing really matters: following Jesus Christ.


We will follow Jesus Christ, from the baptism to the desert, and from the desert to his preaching.  We will follow him with the sick and we will follow him with the sinners.  We will follow him up the mountain.  We will follow him to the Upper Room.  We will follow him to a court room, and to a lonely cross.  We will follow Jesus Christ this Lent.


This Lent, things will be different. 


We will not focus on our sacrifices, but on His Sacrifice.  We will not focus on eating this food or that one, but on being fed by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.  This Lent, we will say our prayers, but we will focus not on the number of prayers, but on the God to whom we pray. 


This Lent, things will be different.


The Lord Jesus began his preaching with a simple message: “The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” We begin this season of Lent with a simple goal: to follow Jesus Christ.  He will lead and we will follow.  He will speak and we will hear.  He will feed us and we will be filled.  He will promise, and we will be changed.


This Lent will be different. 


Amen. 


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