“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
It’s Fat Tuesday today; which means that it is Ash Wednesday tomorrow. This in turn means that Lent is upon us. Being, up until fairly recently, a run of the mill Ameringelical I have yet to fully grasp the church year with all of my mind; but I will be Lenting this year, for really the first time.
Lent is supposed to be a season for reflection and repentance. In the Roman Church, Lent is an obligation. I am a Lutheran and there are no fasts prescribed for or foisted upon me. I may choose to give this or that up, if I like. I may choose to begin engaging in more study of scripture, more frequent prayer etc…if like. Or I may choose to not participate, if I would not like to. The Christian life, after all, should be one of continual repentance. So why a special season?
I wont go into the details of how I plan to observe the private, personal aspects of this season; but I would like to share one general thought, or perhaps an encouragement. I plan on making Lent into log hunting season. I am really, really good at hunting for, and finding, the specks in everyone else’s eyes. And when I find them, my tendency is to open fire, having been loaded for bear. I am a great speck hunter. This Lenten season I have decided to do some log hunting.
If you are a Lent observing Christian, I want to encourage you to consider thinking of Lent as an opportunity to practice the Lord’s admonition to “Take the log out of your own eye” so that we may see the specks in our brother’s eye without obstruction. Don’t spend the next five weeks worrying about this or that bad teacher, gay marriage, or whatever other moral or social outrage may come down the pike between now and the first Sunday in Easter. There will be plenty of time for that later. Let’s take advantage of the wisdom of those who went before us. Let’s take advantage and find our logs, repent, remove them, and then come back with more humility, and the good news of Jesus Christ risen from the grave, victorious over the death he freely accepted for the sin of the world. The good news is not, “you have a sin that I would like to point out.” It is Christ for us, on the cross, in spite of our sin.
If you are not a Lent observing Christian, would you consider joining we who are? Let’s repent. I don’t know what of. You have your logs and I have mine. Let’s hunt together. Let’s pray for each other.