Lenten Reflection

March 24th

“For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” (Romans 7:22-23 NRSV)
 
During Lent, many people make a commitment to regular fasting. This year I decided to fast one day a week, as well as fast from any screen time beyond what is necessary for work. So, when I feel hungry, or when I have time off and feel like I’d like to watch something on TV or YouTube, I remember my desire to focus more on prayer, confession, and growing in my relationship with God. 

I’ve noticed that it’s sometimes not easy. Once, on my fasting day, I got up and enjoyed a large breakfast before remembering that I had committed to not eating that day until supper. Oh no! I’d broken my commitment! Then, the other day, as I did some research in preparation for a Sunday message, I was drawn to watch some extra videos aside from things related to my message. I messed up! Again! 

Reflecting on these incidents, I’ve been learning about my own weakness. I’m not always as faithful and strong as I imagine myself to be. During one of my missional coaching sessions (made possible through MCBC support), I learned how the goal of spiritual disciplines is not so much to become a perfect saint as it is in learning how to return to God. 

The point is in the returning. We will always have times when we fail. That’s why we need Christ. Every time we confess and return to God, we’re exercising our spiritual muscles.
 
Pastor Gerald Neufeld
Mennonite Japanese Christian Fellowship
Surrey, BC