Imagine for a moment that everything we thought and felt was being broadcast to the public via a screen above our head. Every thought. Every desire. Every emotion. What if the world could see past our pleasant demeanor and polite discourse? What if the world could see who we truly are, deep inside? It’s a terrifying prospect, for the sad reality is that being a Christian does not solve our propensity to sin. In many ways, the last few years have exhibited to the world just how ungodly God’s people can be. The screen was up, and we put on quite a show.
Lent is a season for mourning our ungodliness and contemplating our continuous need for God’s mercy and grace. In her new book, Bitter and Sweet – A Journey into Easter (Harvest House Publishing), Tsh Oxenreider provides God’s people a resource for observing the Lenten season. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, each day has a prayer, Scripture reading, devotional, and artistic suggestion to assist the reader during this season of contrition over our sinfulness and of gratitude for Jesus’ redemption of the world. Owning our sinfulness, our pride and wrath, and selfishness, is not a pleasant experience. The season of Lent is a time when we face the truth of who we really are, the person only God sees. But it is also a season that magnifies the majesty of God’s offer of redemption. There is, indeed, a bitter and sweet dimension to the Lenten journey. Assessing the sins of those around us is a universal human instinct. Resources like Bitter and Sweet turn our attention away from the sins of others and prompt us to confess our own sins.
Perhaps Lent 2022 can be a time when we show the world what genuine repentance looks like. We have shown the world our sinfulness – our selfishness, callousness, and wrath. Maybe if we mourned our sin before the world, the world would be more receptive to our message of salvation. One day, we will fully enter the kingdom of God and sin will no longer reside within us. Until then, we will continue to need Lent as a reminder that we are all, even the best of us, unworthy recipients of God’s merciful grace.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on us all.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster