Please forgive me for not posting yesterday! It seems that it’s the season for colds and my family has been blessed to have them for the last two weeks. Sunday and Monday I felt so weak and tired, so I think the craziness of it all plus being sick caught up to me. After some early bedtimes, I feel much better. So, my husband graciously allowed me to share the devotion that he wrote for our church’s monthly newsletter.
Here’s my hubby’s devotion, regarding Lent:
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5: 6, 8
Helpless – this is the word that jumps out at me this Lenten season. Helplessness is a feeling that very few of us share with others or care to experience firsthand. And yet that is exactly the word the Holy Spirit led Paul to use. Paul also writes to the church at Ephesus, you were dead in your sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1) just to make this point clear to us. To be helpless means you can do absolutely nothing on your own. Newborn babies are helpless. Scripture declares the same feeble state of anyone apart from Christ.
I have learned what it means to be helpless throughout life, I suspect you have too. I was helpless as I watched my children come into the world, helpless as I have witnessed individuals in their last moments on this earth.
I was reminded again of my helplessness at times two weeks ago. En route to a Couple’s Bible Study on a rural road, I drove into a snowdrift. To be exact, I didn’t know that the road I was driving came to a dead end and became wedged in packed snow along a field entrance. The snow wasn’t all that deep, but it was piled under and around the undercarriage of the car so that the wheels couldn’t get traction. I pushed, I shoveled, and I gunned the car all in futile attempts. It was tiring, it was exhausting. I came to the realization that I needed help. A phone call brought friends to pull us out and send us on our way.
How does God show love to a hopeless and helpless world; by sending His Son to pay for our sins. The theological word for this is atonement, which simply means to amend or pay for a wrong. We read in John 3:16 of God’s great love for the world but verse 17 goes on to say, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
We are reminded this Lenten season of the pitiful condition of our souls before God’s gracious work of forgiveness and grace. We are also reminded of the tremendous mercy of God given to helpless and hopeless people, people like us, as He makes us new in Christ.
My family belongs to a group of conservative Lutheran churches called the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations. You can read more about our association here.