Return to the Lord

“Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.”  [Joel 2:12-13]

Return to the Lord

The Lenten Season is here and so as we ponder over whether to give up chocolate, or fast foods, soda pop, cigarettes and more, let us take God’s clarion call for us to return to him a bit more seriously and reverently this year.  Reverently because in the text, we see that God surveyed the state of his people and gave them a favorable option to get pass their challenges—a favorable option, not an ultimatum.  He used their backsliding, as it were, as an opportune time to extend an olive branch to them to “reset” and get back on course of his will for their lives.

Indeed, in the context of distress God does issue an invitation or appeal for us to return to him!  This passionate call to return to the LORD, your God, would imply that we have departed from God to go somewhere else or to someone else—and he wants us to return to him. Return to God’s grace; return to God’s goodness and mercy, return to his love, return to his holiness; God is always interested in reconciliation with us.  

In her book, LENT, Megan McKenna states “This season is about returning to the image of God that we were fashioned to reflect. It is time to work again at being reconcilers, peacemakers, ambassadors for Christ.  These forty days are for becoming the very holiness of God, for radical alterations in the society and life we dwell within.”

And so, we see here very clear, divine expectations of us and directions for us to follow during Lent.  It’s not a time to recoil from God’s will for our lives but to acknowledge that God sees Lent as a time to return to confession; a time to return to candid and deep spiritual reflection; to earnestly return to the mainstream of the LORD’s will over time with all our heart.

Lent is an holy journey of intentional surrender of our creature-comforts to the LORD by fasting regularly; to prayerfully express remorse to the LORD to the point of sorrow for our chronic penchant for wandering away from God’s plan to shape us in the image of his son Christ Jesus.

Lent can be a period of struggle—but it’s a great time to return to the LORD with all our heart and invite God to work through us for the good of humanity, and for his glory.  

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Lurecie M. Stokes

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