Many of you who keep track of the Christian liturgical calendar know that we are close to Easter, hence, in the season of Lent. I had the opportunity to preach at my church this Sunday on a penitential psalm and the gospel lesson about the practice of reflecting on our sins during lent. Reading through Psalm 51, I felt as if God handed me an alternative perspective on sin and lent. The psalmist reflects heavily on his sin, but he doesn’t dwell on his sin; his sin is what positively brings him nearer to God as he asks God to fill him with God’s holy spirit. He asks in the midst of great sin for great things from God, specifically to experience the joy and goodness of salvation. I asked myself and the congregation, how often during our reflection on our own sin, do we truly have the type of faith in God’s steadfast and unconditional love that asks for such great blessings?
It is empowering to remember that forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with us and everything to do with God, that in this way the season of lent is way less about sin and much more about God’s grace.
The psalmist reminds us that life itself is about glorifying God, about knowing God more, about experiencing the joy of our salvation. What a great reminder in the midst of doom and gloom- is it really that difficult to rejoice in God despite our sins? What a great gift we have been given that our lives are about joy, rather than death, grace rather than sin. I hope this encourages you today as you go about your day and rest in the season of lent, never forgetting Christ’s sacrifice, relying on your sin to fill you with more of God.