Two days after my house burned down in 2010, I was in Knoxville with my sister getting the bare essentials. Things like makeup and cowboy boots and a computer. I shudder when I look back at the photos. I had a black eye from jumping out of my two story window wore ill fitting borrowed clothes for days. I think it was the lack of hair products though that made me look the most pitiful.
We walked by Williams Sonoma and I went in to look at their soup pots. My sister very kindly and tenderly said, “Um, sis, you don’t even have a stove.”
Oh yeah, the little detail of my house just burning down.
I bought the soup pot anyways.
Two days after everything I owned burned to the ground, I was now the proud owner of a computer, some cowboy boots, and a dutch oven, while my stove and a lifetime of memories lay in an ashy heap beside the turquoise chair. People fed me for weeks, God bless them every one, but I found my way back to life again by making soup, by feeding my people.
That very same dutch oven sits on my stovetop everyday and reminds me that my calling is to serve and love and feed and I can do that no matter what burns down around me. There’s always some one right in front of me who has needs that I am perfectly suited to meet, regardless of my education level, my current job, or my socioeconomic status in life.
Lent begins this Wednesday and every time it comes around now, I think of the fire.
“Dust you are and to dust you shall return.”
Lent reminds us that we aren’t yet home. Lent reminds us not to settle too comfortably into this world, to travel lightly so that we may have hands free to serve our neighbor on the way. Lent reminds us why God came to us in the flesh—not to give us wealth and prosperity, not to destroy our enemies, not to set up a powerful earthly kingdom, no, none of that.
He came to serve, to give His life as a ransom for many. He came to die.
So, before we rush on ahead to the blessed Easter resurrection, let us walk with Christ through the dark—His pain and agony, the betrayals and lies, the night of our own sin, the stronghold of our self-righteousness, the doubt of our weak and failing faith. Let us walk with Him to His cross and find that the Hope of the world was running to rescue us all along, to give us life and salvation and to fit us with a the sacred calling of sharing that love with the world.
It would be my honor for you to join me in a 40 day Lenten devotional of the Prodigal Son. The sign up period ends tonight at midnight EST.
The devotional study will include a near daily email with occasional videos and access to a private Facebook group for discussion. At the end of the study, those registered will receive a pdf of all the material in one easy to access document, along with printable quotes that will be used along the way. The study is free and there are no required materials. Resources that I will be using are—Finding the Lost, Cultural Keys to Luke 15 by Kenneth Bailey, Grace Upon Grace by John Kleinig, The Commentary on Luke by Arthur Just, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth Bailey, and The Cross & The Prodigal by Kenneth Bailey. Also, the ESV translation of the Scriptures.
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