Wednesday Word 2.21.2018

Joel 2:12-13 New International Version

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart,

    with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart

    and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is

    gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,

    and he relents from sending calamity.

Even now, do you hear the Lord calling on you to return to him? There is an awful lot of noise out there. We make a lot of it ourselves. It is easy to attend to the loudest calls, the ones that everyone else is talking about. Besides, heeding the call of the Lord involves some heavy soul searching. It is easier to focus our attention on the world.

Dan and I love to watch the Olympics. Summer or winter, we don’t care because we love it all. When you watch hour after hour, you hear lots of exciting and uplifting stories. Such dedication and perseverance! I admire the commitment of these people so much. What is so irritating is all the commercials. The first few dozen times, the same spots over and over are amusing or endearing, or just plain deafening. After ten days or so, it becomes mind numbing. We find ourselves fumbling for the remote to mute the ever-present commercial breaks and sometimes miss the return of the action. But, those messages are insidious. I find myself craving a Big Mac®. Or maybe, Coke® and a pizza. I wonder if I should change wireless providers. Those messages work, as much as we hate them.

The world sways our thoughts more pervasively than we like to admit. All the chatter and hubbub occupies entirely too much of our time. No matter how loud the world may be, the Lord is still calling for us. Even now. Lent is the season for reflection on our relationship with God and with each other. God isn’t interested in us making a production out of our faith. God wants us to bare our hearts and really look inside them. Every single one of us is called to honestly examine our behavior and our attitudes, then have a true “come to Jesus” moment. Lent is the time for self-assessment. Lent is the time for repentance. Return to the Lord. We may not think we ever wandered away. Look again…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki