Saturday, March 15, 2014
Lent day 10: FAIL
Recite the Primo Credo Today in the Morning and in the Evening:
Hear, O Israel:
the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.
Today, on the Tenth Day of Lent, we continue to discuss the Primo Credo, a variation of the Hebrew Shema Yisrael that Jesus himself told us was the bedrock of our entire belief system.
We have been meditating on it now for nine days (today is day ten) and will continue to do so until Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.
We have been reciting it every morning and every evening, as faithful Followers of YHWH have been doing for thousands of years.
Yesterday, we talked about the TESTS we often go through in life; how Jesus went through TESTS, also and passed them, largely as a testimony to His incredible knowledge of and appropriate use of scripture against The Enemy. We discussed the SHEMA and how Jesus used it and the scripture passage that it is plucked from during his time of TESTing during those Forty Days in the desert. We also talked about how, during Lent, we simulate TESTS (such as practicing disciplines of prayer, recitation and self-denial) for Forty Days in order to put us in a somber and penitent frame of mind as we remind ourselves of the tests Jesus went through to atone for us.
Today’s Scripture Passages:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
“Failure is not an option” is a phrase that sometimes makes me do a double-take. I get that it is meant to convey a driven perseverance that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. As Christians, it is good for us to have this attitude, for we are reminded by scripture that “If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31); and also that Jesus is “able to keep [us] from falling” (Jude 1:24). In Christ, we can claim victory over Satan and his lies.
But, I’d also like to propose that it is an indisputable truth that, at times, we fail. On one hand,failure is not an option…on the other hand, it is a fact of life. As Christians, we live within this odd tension of two seemingly opposite ideas. So, does that mean that scripture is lying, or what? Well of course not. But when scripture talks about failure, it is terms of either temporary or ultimate. We may have temporary setbacks, but if we persevere, we will experience ultimate success.
No other passage puts it better, in my opinion, than Proverbs 24:16:
“Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up.
But when trouble strikes the wicked, that's the end of them.”
So, with the help of Christ, we make every effort to stand strong against Satan; but if we fail, by Christ’s strength we rise again. Today, as you approach the ¼ mark into Lent, you may have done poorly with the commitments that you made. You may have failed, you may have fallen…It’s okay. Get back up and try again!
To him who is able to keep you from falling
and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages now and forevermore! Amen.