Today’s Reading: Ephesians 5:1-9
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 40:1-23; Mark 10:32-52
For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Thus, walk as children of the Light. (Ephesians 5:8)
Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I look at this reading today and I’m just scared. I try. I really try. I want to be light. But I look at myself and see only darkness. God, save me!
I’m baptized. I bear the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’m born from above. I hear my sins forgiven every week in the Divine Service. I go to Confession. I receive the Lord’s Supper every day it is offered. I’m even ordained!
That sounds like I’m bragging. I’m not! With all that God has done to save me, you’d think that I would somehow get better! Yet I don’t. It’s scary how dark my life is. I want what I shouldn’t want and don’t want what I should want. Am I reveling in how bad I am? Probably! I can add that to the sins I need to confess. Add that to the times I blatantly sin, knowing I’ll get forgiven afterwards! Awful!
Christ is my Light in darkness. His life is the light of all men—even me. His Light was snuffed out for me on Good Friday. His Light dragged me out of the tomb with Him on Easter morning. He lives! I live with Him in water, Word, and in His Body and Blood.
Please don’t take any of this as an invitation to sin. I have enough sins without adding your slavery to sin to them! Turn from your sins. Don’t just put on a big religious show, like ripping your garments. No, rip your heart of your chest and repent!
Don’t get me wrong, I hope you are getting better every day. I hope you see real victory over sins in your life. Really! Thank God!
But when you don’t, when your light feels like darkness, when today’s reading scares you because your best isn’t good enough, when you look at yourself and see yourself as the second most awful person alive today behind me, Christ will be the light in your darkest places. He will drag you to His Cross and then to His resurrection. He is your hope. He is your Savior.
Every day, every hour, every ticking second, there’s a battle in both of us between what we want to be and the people we actually are. That’s our Christian life! He accuses us with His Law, we repent under it, and then He forgives us all our sins. Then, love born of His Gospel spills over to others. Die to your sins. Be raised in your Baptism to new life. Trust Jesus. Love others. Rinse and repeat. Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. George Borghardt