Monday, March 18, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Entitlement

"....they crucified Jesus...and they cast lots to divide his clothing." - Luke 22:33-34

Even the youngest of children have an entitlement mentality.   

We want what is OURS.  We want what we deserve. We want what we earned. We want to keep what we've worked for. 

"It's mine!"

A sense of entitlement permeates the culture that we live in. One of the disadvantages of a Capitalistic society is that it has the propensity to create selfishness. And one of the after effects of selfishness is a false sense of security. With the tightest of grips, we hold on to what is OURS. Our "stuff" makes us feel safe.

The poor remain poor.

The wealthy remain wealthy.

We keep what's ours.

Christ lived a life of poverty. He came into this world with nothing. He left this world with nothing. Even after His last breath was breathed, the last few possessions were taken from Him.

While His example was one of humility, selflessness and sacrifice, Western Christianity has not exactly followed His lead. Our possessions become weights around our necks that keep us from fulfilling what Christ has called us to do. A culture of over-consumption has made even the poorest in America wealthy by the worlds standards.

Instead of building God's Kingdom for all, we have chosen to build little kingdoms for ourselves.

If we could narrow down the main message of Lent, it would be sacrifice. We sacrifice in order to share oneness with Christ, while reflecting on the sacrificial life that He lived. We sacrifice so that our hearts become more open to sin; sin that was covered over by sacrificial death.

Nothing is really OURS to begin with. When we see life from this perspective, OURS becomes THEIRS. THEIRS becomes GOD'S, and in divine irony, GOD'S becomes OURS.

Lord, in a culture  of consumption and possession, we find it difficult to let go of what we feel we are entitled to. In doing so, we don't reveal Your Kingdom, but build kingdoms for ourselves. Help us to let go of the entitlement mentality and focus more our releasing more of what we have. We thank You for Your blessings and ask You to help us take better care or what You're given us. Amen  



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