March 4, 2013 by Pastor Ben McIntire
Over a billion Christians around the world are currently observing the church season of Lent, a season of repentance, admitting our sinful nature, and turning back toward God’s promised forgiveness and reconciling our relationship with him. As an American Lutheran, I always cherish this season during the dark, cold and icy days that fall between winter and spring. The weather often reflects my mood of sorrow over my guilt and fallen nature. It’s not so much that I revel in the feelings of guilt and condemnation—more like Lent is a time set aside for spiritual reflection to recognize what an impossible state I’m in and that I am absolutely powerless in the face of my own mortality. I will die. No ifs, ands, or buts—it is only a question of when.
With this sometimes overwhelming confession, there is only one place that I have found hope. That hope comes from the promise of God, my Maker. I know that I had nothing to do with bringing myself into existence, and I know that I have no power to maintain my life more than a few decades—and even those few years are only loosely under my control. Therefore, my faith is a Trust and a Hope based on the God of the Bible, revealed in the man from Nazareth, Jesus Christ. He was a real person; historians of all stripes are pretty much agreed on that. And because of the many witnesses to his life, death, and resurrection—people who were even willing to die in order to share this news—I too, believe the promise of the resurrection of the body after death.
So this season of reflection, of confession, of admitting mortality and sin and powerlessness actually feels like a wake-up call for the soul. One of my recent favorite bands, Mumford & Sons, has a song on their first album Sigh No More, called “Awake My Soul,” whose lyrics are below:
AWAKE MY SOUL
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes.
I struggle to find any truth in your lies.
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know.
My weakness I feel I must finally show.
Lend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all.
But lend me your heart and I’ll just let you fall.
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see.
But your soul you must keep, totally free.
Awake my soul.
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.
Awake my soul,
For you were made to meet your maker.
I highly recommend actually listening to this beautiful song on YouTube here:
Dear God, you are my Maker. You made this body for me to live in, and you made this life for me to live. Help me to invest my life and my love in You, to trust you with my heart, mind and soul. Awaken my soul to the glorious hope of faith in Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen.