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Lent Day 12

March 3, 2015

In the past week-plus, two different messages reminded me that as Christians the only to-do on our list is to believe.

Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, wrote this column in the March 2015 The Lutheran. She reminds us all that as Christians, we have nothing to do, except believe. All the fasting, depriving, denying we try to do as humans to win God’s favor, are unnecessary. Our wealth, beauty, fitness have nothing to do with gaining God’s grace. Based on what Lutherans believe, we get God’s grace and steadfast love simply because we believe. Our pastor reiterated the same message Sunday in his sermon.
What a relief! If my eternal life with God relies on me being perfect, I can just throw in the towel now. It seems impossible for me to get through an hour, let alone a day or my lifetime, without sinning.

Thankfully, as Bishop Eaton wrote:
“We may work for justice or righteousness with the best intentions, and God knows there is plenty of work to do. But Jesus didn’t die to change behaviors or political systems or institutions. Jesus died to end the fundamental brokenness and estrangement from God that is the result of human sin, our rebellion against God that infects every aspect of our lives.”

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I believe Lent should bring us all joy. These days before Lent bring us to the precious gift of eternal life. As I understand it, God wants me to work to do right and to follow his Ten Commandments. God doesn’t want me to worry about how much I must do to meet His standards. His standards are simple: Believe in Him.

“Lent can be a time to ponder this priceless gift. The death and resurrection of Christ has changed everything, a change no human effort could ever bring about,” writes Bishop Eaton.

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