The season of Lent
We are in the season of Lent-a period of acknowledging sin within us. Each year when this holy season comes around, God gives us another chance to repent from sin and recognize the power of the passion and death of Christ for us sinners.
One of the readings for morning prayer dwells on the situation, when the world at this point in biblical time, lost their moors and was wallowing in the myres of sin. Genesis 18:20, expresses the divine concern for humanity. The dialogue between God and Abraham:
20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said:
“Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?”
If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
The rest is history and a lesson for humanity. The same God whose wrath destroyed Sodom, as people were set in their sinful ways, so loved the world that He sent His only son to save the world from sin, in Jesus, whose very name says it all – the one who will save His people from sin. God the Father is willing to forgive us and receive into His loving embrace, if we realize the power of His mercy which is always available.
But when we make sin our lifestyle, then we have sold our souls to ‘father of all lies’. There in lies the import of the call to repentance and holiness. Let us remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return. But we hold a treasure in the earthen vessels, as St. Paul says, that is the soul which is eternal and everlasting.
Lent is a good time to take stock of the status of our soul, in terms of our relationship with God. St. Augustine, who was a repentant sinner, beautifully put it,
You have made us for yourself O God and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee,
Christ has paid the price for our sins and its up to us to accept the riches of His divine mercy, not just in word, but in all sincerity, in all its truth.