Our Lenten mediation word for today is “way.” Have you ever lost your way? Perhaps you were driving somewhere and took a wrong turn or taking a hike on a trail and missed an obvious sign and somehow left the trail? I won’t go into the ugly details but believe me, both can happen! The truth is, we lose our way in so many ways. We lose sight of what’s important in our lives and take for granted the people who mean the most to us. We lose sight of what is important when it comes to our faith and to our relationship with God. Perhaps that’s why the early church was called “The Way.” The name itself was intended to remind Christ-followers of what was most important: a new way of thinking, a new way of loving, a new way of serving, a new way of living. The way is a path of spiritual growth and discipleship that leads us closer to God.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught that the goal of the Christian life is to become holy, that is, to become perfected in love. That goal is nothing less than to become like Jesus. As with many goals in life, we may not achieve this goal either but our task is to spend our lives trying. In the Wesleyan tradition, there are two primary paths we are to walk to get closer to the goal. The first path involves our participation in acts of piety: prayer, meditation, the study of Scripture, worship, and Communion. The second path involves our participation in acts of mercy: serving God by serving others.
Neither of these paths to holiness are easy. They require discipline, sacrifice, and a willingness to surrender our own desires and ambitions to God. Lent calls us into a time of self-examination where we take an honest look at our lives and ask ourselves how we are doing in our faith journey. But Lent also should remind us that taking on these spiritual disciplines isn’t just a matter of obligation, these paths lead to greater peace, joy, and fulfillment in life. As you do a little self-reflection today, I encourage you to be strengthened and encouraged in your journey. Remember that no matter where you are on the path or how far from the path you have wandered, God’s love and grace are here for you. This Lent, live into the promise of Jesus as recorded in John 10:10: “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” Have a blessed day.
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