Lent: Day Twenty-nine

Another Monday and the next to last Monday in Lent. We have eleven days and Palm Sunday left in our observance.

I have an idea for what to do for the last seven days in Lent, four of which find me at my conference in Las Vegas. I think I will touch on the last seven words/statements of Jesus, one for each day Saturday through Holy Saturday. Remember Palm Sunday is not a day of Lent. I will look at:

First – “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Second – “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Third – “…he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.'”
Fourth – “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Fifth – “I am thirsty.”
Sixth – “It is finished.”
Seventh – “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

I am conflicted about going to Las Vegas. Going to the conference with my wife and daughter has all the earmarks of vacation and a celebration, while this weekend and next week mark the culmination of my Lenten experience. Christ is moving from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, inexorably meeting his destiny chosen before the foundation of the world. It seems so incongruous with the image of “Vegas, Sin City, World Capital for Casinos, Gambling, and Buffets”, unless you remember the sin and betrayal of that period. Judas gambled and lost; Peter denied; expediency won out and while Jerusalem looked forward to the Passover feast, salvation hung in the balance. Maybe it isn’t so incongruous at all.

What is it that Paul said in Romans 5:20-21?

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, put me on your prayer list starting Friday night through Wednesday night. God has his reasons and we will see what they are.

Grace and peace to you as we enter the final stretch of our Lenten observance.

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