The season of Lent has just begun; traditionally Lent is a season of repentance, often observed by a choice to give something up in order to concentrate more fully upon God
The season holds an invitation for us to choose to see what God is doing, to draw near and to draw close, to leave behind the things that tempt and distract us and to seek God for the new things that he wants to do in our lives and in our communities!
As we continue to live through lock down in the Lenten season of 2021 I get the sense that more and more people are seeking the true meaning of life, and where to go from here. With the scourge of this pandemic many of us realise the true fragility of life. Many are searching to discover what lies beyond this life. If this is all there is to existence then nature has played a cruel trick on us. For we are the only creatures who are consciously aware of our own mortality. If this is all there is, then life is ultimately meaningless.
If you are searching and asking these questions well get ready for God is about to do something anew in your life
But first if we are seeking God, just like those people 2000 years ago who went into the desert to to hear John the Baptist, we must repent and regret the times when we have turned our back on God or done our own thing regardless of consequences; to say sorry and ask forgiveness. Having turned our back on God we must turn back toward Him.
John then recognises Jesus and directs his listeners to Him as the one who will baptise them with the Holy Spirit. Then while baptising Jesus something totally unforgettable happens. The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit took on visible form, and God spoke.
This story of the baptism of Jesus contains a message of power and of hope, of God the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus and reassuring him with words of affirmation:
“You are my son the beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Jesus was being made ready to call people to open their eyes and see that the kingdom of God, and their salvation, had surely drawn near.
God was doing something new.
God is doing something anew now, for his kingdom remains near, and he calls us to dare to enter into it.
For those who are searching for something different or for re-assurance that that there is a God who loves them. Let me tell you that God does love you for he sent Jesus into the world to rescue you. Jesus did something new by sacrificing himself on the cross,. This act of love and his subsequent resurrection defeated death and the power of satan and gave the promise of eternal life for all who turn to him.
Jesus is doing something anew, by inviting or re-inviting us into a new life in His family. God longs to pour himself into our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit to equip and strengthen us to live his way! He longs to affirm us with the words: “You are my son, you are my daughter, you are my beloved and I am pleased with you!”
By inviting us anew into renewed life in Christ God longs to hear us, his church family, announcing the good news We are presently living in a Covid 19 world where I believe, like in John the Baptist’s day, there is a great hunger for spirituality. Also a great hunger for belonging, stemming from a great lost-ness, as society becomes increasingly fragmented and disconnected It is up to us, God’s Church, His family, to proclaim his message of love and power to today’s generation.
God is here, he is with us, the story of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus is a message of wild possibilities! A message of power and glory! And I believe God is getting us ready to do something anew through us all. During these times of Covid lockdown there have already been several miracles that I am aware of. God is opening up the heavens and sending his Holy Spirit to flood us with his love.
This Lenten season let us dare to draw aside, to turn from our busyness, or otherthinginess, to listen to God, to gain a fresh vision for the mission to which he has called us. To hear his words of love for us, so that filled to overflowing with that love we can reach out to a world in desperate need, for this is why Christ came, and this is what he calls us to; so that rather than give something up we, in partnership with the Holy Spirit, take on something new
Let’s use this time to get ready… for God is calling us on, to partake with him in a new wave of the Holy Spirit bringing revival.