Lent: A time of focus
February 11, 2013
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he (Jesus) should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)

Did you hear about the man who was hired to paint the white lines on the highway? He began to paint, striping five miles the first day, three miles the second day, and one mile the third day.

Of course, his boss became concerned about the decreasing production and asked his employee about it. The hard working man replied, “Well, sir, I kept getting farther away from the paint bucket.”

During the season of Lent, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 13, it is good to remember and meditate upon the events that occurred during the last period of the life of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as they are recorded in the Scriptures. It is with the prayer that through these times of special focus on the passion of our Lord, we will gain a clearer and deeper appreciation for that which the Lord has done for us. This we do by the means of the Word of God, in Christian fellowship, through our Lenten services, small groups, Bible studies, and other worship services, as well as through our own personal times of reading and prayer.

Why is it important to concentrate upon the events of Lent? Because, through attention and reflection on the greatest act of love ever demonstrated by anyone and through turning away from ourselves towards God, we experience the deepening and renewing of the knowledge of His love toward us as sinners.

Oftentimes, in our sinful nature, we may find ourselves slow to read his Word, slow to be in prayer, or slow to attend the hearing of His Word, forgetting that the neglect of Word can cause a “leaking in our soul.” We, by nature, leave the “paint bucket” behind as we “paint our lives.”

Motivated by the joy that was set before him, Jesus steadfastly (firmly, unchanging) set his face toward Jerusalem, where he would despise the shame and endure the cross for sinners such as ourselves.

May God by His Spirit shine the love of Jesus into our hearts, thereby renewing the wonder of it all into our souls. And on Easter morning, may the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead bring to us great joy, as we lift our songs of praise to him who lives forever.