Lent Challenge

During the 6 weeks of Lent, we are exploring relationship challenges to help us grow spiritually as we remember Jesus’ ministry.

The weekly challenges are:

Challenge 1 – Generosity

Challenge 2 – Gratitude

Challenge 3 – Pray for an enemy

Challenge 4 – Share your faith

Challenge 5 – Reach out to the lonely

Challenge 6 – Sacrifice

Throughout the 6 weeks of Lent, we will post resources that have been contributed from congregation members for you to reflect upon and deepen our understanding of each challenge. Join the conversation on Facebook during each of the 6 weeks of Lent, where we can discuss the resources and learn together. As we ponder these challenges, you can read this piece from Daily Readings from Spiritual Classics, Edited by Paul Ofstedal.

Reflecting Jesus’ Walk

“Grant that the remembrance of the blessed Life that once was lived out on this common earth under these ordinary skies may remain with me in all the tasks and duties of this day. Let me remember —

His eagerness, not to be ministered unto, but to minster;

His sympathy with suffering of every kind;

His bravery in the face of His own suffering;

His meekness of bearing, so that, when reviled, He reviled not again;

His simplicity;

His self-discipline;

His serenity of spirit;

His complete reliance upon Thee, His Father in Heaven;

And in each of these ways give me grace to follow in His footsteps.” (Baillie 1949)

It is a common observation that, over the course of many years together, husbands and wives begin to talk and act and even look alike. Groups of teenagers tend to adopt a common dress and language. For that matter, so do co-workers and business associates in later years. Some even claim that pets and their owners look alike. Through long-time association with one another we inevitably begin to reflect each other.

The same happens in our association with Jesus Christ. No imitation or performance on our part counts for anything before God. Our standing is granted to us only by the grace of Christ. At the same time, though, God calls us to watch and to walk with his Son, who himself says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” Jesus walks the way of the devoted child of God, reflecting his father’s ways, and so models true humanity for us. Paul calls us to help one another to grow to maturity, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” that together as Christ’s body we may “grow up in every way into him who is the head” (Eph. 4:13,15). How will that happen? As Christ’s forgiveness frees us, he bids us walk with him, to watch where he steps in the Scriptures, to observe his gracious and compassionate dealings with people, and then to do as he does. Sinful though we are throughout our lives, God’s Spirit is at work refashioning us and transforming us (beyond all our broken efforts and longings!) into a reflection of Christ’s image.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:1-2a). (Ofstedal, Daily Readings from Spiritual Classics, 1990)

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