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[1] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, [2] looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, ESV)

Even though the snow is still falling, we suddenly find ourselves within a month of the holy season of Lent. There are a number of ways of approaching Lent. One that is, arguably, among the most helpful, is to think of it as a time of remembering. We dedicate special time each day and each week to remember what our Lord willingly submitted to. And we remember what He gave us, in the process. It is an awesome thing to realize that God, Himself, set aside the glory, honor, and majesty of heaven to live as one of us. It is even more awe-inspiring to meditate on the perfect life He lived in every respect. And all that He suffered is almost unimaginable.

Make sure you take the final step, however. Remember what Jesus did—and what it means for you. His perfect life is credited to you. He took on human flesh in order to have a body that He could offer as a sacrifice for your sin. He claimed you as His own to seat you, with Him, in heaven in glory and honor and majesty.

We understand that better as we also remember the lives of the saints who have gone before us. What does it mean to live as one of God’s people? What was particularly important for them in their walk with God? What did they treasure? What did they have little time for or interest in? In what ways was their faith tested? That will be the focus of our Lenten preparation this year. In a word, it is about remembering: Remembering what He did; remembering their example; and remembering who you are in Christ. Start preparing to make the most of this upcoming Lent.

 

-- Pastor Stolarczyk