Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

As Lent begins, I don't want to just take something away. I want to add. It's a pet peeve of mine that Christianity is often defined by a list of "don'ts." We view our faith in the negative, rather than highlighting the positive. So besides not doing certain things for Lent, I want to do certain other things--intentional practices that will help me grow in my understanding of the cross and my intimacy with God.

The primary way I'm pursuing this goal is by studying John Stott's book The Cross of Christ. Stott writes:
"Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. ...It is impossible for us to face Christ's cross with integrity and not to feel ashamed of ourselves. Apathy, selfishness and complacency blossom everywhere in the world except at the cross. There these noxious weeds shrivel and die. They are seen for the tatty, poisonous things they are. For if there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our unrighteousness, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed. It is only when we see this that, stripped of our self-righteousness and self-satisfaction, we are ready to put our trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior we urgently need."
It seems like the perfect book to study during Lent. I'm praying that this study will help stir up in me the kind of "mournful joy" and passionate emotion such truth deserves--the kind Laurie described.

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