Week 3 - Sacrifice/Fasting

Today finds us not only in the middle of Lent, and for some the middle of a Lenten fast, but also in the middle of a pandemic. Many are quarantined, many are working from home, and many are now makeshift teachers to a house full of kids. So much has been put on hold, delayed or cancelled. The disappointment rises as quickly as fear and uncertainty. So much sacrifice is happening. Sacrifice we didn’t chose. But our sacrifice is for the health and lives of those who are at risk, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed.

And Lent is a time to reflect on sacrifice, all that Jesus sacrificed for us. The love of Jesus is sacrificial and not just for a time, but for eternity.

He came down from heaven as a baby, born to a poor family in a barn, and He began His ministry with 40 days alone in the desert, facing and resisting temptation.

Love, real love, involves sacrifice. Even in the hardest moments, you can be encouraged, remembering that God is doing His good work in you as you observe Lent and follow directions. This is not an easy time and there may be temptation to not comply. There will be temptation (see Luke 4). But we are never alone — God is always with us and provides a way to help us overcome temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" — John 16:33, NIV

As we think about the girls in our world today, we turn to the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was an ordinary woman, actually a teenager, who did an extraordinary thing! Centuries later, there's so much to learn from Mary.

Mary said yes to God’s plan for her. In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel comes to tell Mary that she will have a Son named Jesus. Gabriel says Mary is "highly favored" and invites her to begin a journey as mother to the Messiah who will save the people from their sins. She didn’t know at the time that she was saying yes to a journey of honor, joy, and also great sacrifice. As His mom, Mary watched Jesus’ life unfold, and she held these moments close to her heart (Luke 2:51).

But what about the toughest moments her Son endured? Moments that were crushing, painful, and hard to understand. Jesus alone and tempted in the desert. The rejection, crucifixion, and death of her Son. But God chose her. And her yes brought sacrifice.

He's chosen you for your part. He's chosen me for my part. And like Mary, there will be moments of sacrifice, because love is sacrificial.
For all the girls living in poverty today, His love is great for them. So great that He sent His Son so they might know Him. 

This Lent, may we remember, even in our trials, even in the midst of a pandemic, Jesus is making all things new!

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" — Revelation 21:5, NIV

In this together,
Candace

 

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. — Isaiah 1:17, NIV