Lent 2009 and Walking with Peter

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The forty days of Lent for this year begin next week on Ash Wednesday, February 25th. Though Lent as a church observation has fallen from favor in many evangelical churches, I like to follow the Church calendar. It delineates the seasons of the year and helps us to focus on seasons in our lives. Traditionally, Lent is a period of sacrifice leading up to Easter in which we do without and practice penance as a reminder once again to die to self. It is a named period in which we recommit ourselves to holiness…though, this should be our daily vocation.

This year, the Spirit has brought the life and ministry of Simon Peter to my heart as my guide through the Lenten season. I suspect that many of us find a kindred spirit in Peter. He is a bit gruff and rough around the edges. Jesus does not pluck him out of the ivory towers of religiously trained nor was he an important thinker of his time. Just a guy with a boat who spent his cold, dark nights out of the water trying to make his livelihood by netting fish and selling them.

Saint Peter’s mouth is known to have run before his brain and his impetuous behaviors make us initially wonder what Jesus saw in him to validate his selection as an Apostle. As one of His closest disciples, we learn of a man of commitment who shares the same fears and failures that we do. To be with Peter as he abandons his Lord at a crucial moment is to be with us as we question our own commitment when it seems that God’s love should preclude some of the struggles and strife that visit our own lives. Who among us has not stepped from the boat onto the water proclaiming “I believe, I believe” only to falter a few steps in and find ourselves with the waterline quickly approaching our necks?

Lent is a time for us to once again to renew ourselves to the words that Peter left us in his first epistle:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  1 Peter 3:15

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One thought on “Lent 2009 and Walking with Peter

  1. I am not sure why at this point in my life but I have decided to ‘do’ Lent again. I could not agree more with your statement ‘It is a named period in which we recommit ourselves to holiness…though, this should be our daily vocation.’ I grew up Roman Catholic and after becoming ‘born-again’ from above I threw out anything resembling the RCC. I think it is time to re-visit Lent and set some time aside for more study and reflection.

    I plan on using one of Piper’s Books ‘Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die’. http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/books_pojc/bpojc_all.pdf

    I remember giving up my favorite treats during lent and maybe an occasional TV show. I was never really taught why I was doing it. It really was just a ‘RC tradition’ in our home. As I enter this time I am being led to give us watching TV. This choice is being made because TV eats up time that I should be spending to pray and getting to know our Lord better. I have struggled and been convicted with my TV watching for awhile and hope this committed time away will renew my mind’s appetite.

    Blessings, Robert

    Eph 4:20-24
    But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

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