Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lenten Reflections: Guilty

"I offered my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
  from mocking and spitting."

Isaiah 50:6

The Roman soldiers were not the only ones who rejected Christ. Their actions may have been the most obvious, but they certainly didn't stand alone. They were just more honest in their rejection. They were blatant in their denial. There were many who beat with words under their breath. Pulled hairs from the proverbial beard. Mocked. Spit. But just far enough away from the crowds to remain anonymous. Group-think is a powerful enabler for the coward.

Lent reveals to us that we are no different in our corporate rejection of Christ. We choose to deny Christ incognito. Covert denial disguised in a system that we call American Theology. The "Church" has become the "Christians" favorite hiding place, and the the most effective manner of justification. But no matter how well we hide it, we deny Christ each and every day.  

We deny Christ by the way we live our lives, under the banner "CHRISTIAN".

We deny Christ when we wake up each day, and ignore God's divine presence.

We deny Christ when we rush to work in anger and self-absorption. 

We deny Christ at work when we work endlessly to control every aspect, refusing to rest.

We deny Christ when we treat others as if we're better, and they are less.

We deny Christ by our faith, because we refuse to trust. 

 We deny Christ when we refuse to reveal our true selves to others.

We deny Christ when we hate our enemy and refuse to forgive. 

We deny Christ when we celebrate war and cheer for "our team".

We deny Christ when patriotism trumps righteousness and spirituality. 

We deny Christ when we consume more than we can afford.

We deny Christ when we consume more than we give.

We deny Christ when we ignore the homeless and deny justice to the less fortunate.

We deny Christ when we shut ourselves inside and refuse to know our neighbors.

We deny Christ when we take pleasure in death of any kind. 

 We deny Christ when we refuse to build community with others.

We deny Christ when we lose our tempers and belittle others.

We deny Christ when we drink too much, smoke too much, eat too much, sleep too much, buy too much, work too much, want too much.....we deny Christ too much.

We deny Christ when we ridicule Him, spit on Him, beat Him and crucify Him.

We deny Christ by ______________________________.

We deny Christ.

Guilty as charged.     

Lord, we stand before You guilty; guilty as those that ridiculed You, spit on You, beat You and killed You, because we are those people as well. We deny You each and every day by the lives we live. In our guilt, forgive us, Lord, and lead us to live humble lives under Your merciful Lordship. Help us to forgive ourselves and receive Your forgiveness with joy. Amen  

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