Oh… lent. Are you feeling like you’re in the desert yet? Last Week’s blog was about finding your desert, your lonely place. Your stuck place. Your, perhaps shameful place. and inviting Jesus into it. Sometimes Jesus does not take our deserts away… he just sits with us in it, helps defeat your temptations in it…
But this Sunday’s readings are not necessarily about sharing our dry and weariness with Him, it’s about GIVING him all that we love.
You see in the First Reading, it’s the story from Genesis about Abraham sacrificing his only (and very long awaited) son Isaac. Abraham is called the Father of Faith for a couple of reasons, but this one is pretty memorable. I mean imagine… Abraham was promised a son from God for YEARS. I mean like 50 years or something. Isaac was born when Abraham and Sarah were OLD! BUT God fulfilled his promise to Abraham… that he would indeed have a son who would be the father of many decedents.
Then God asks Abraham to give Isaac back via human sacrifice. I’d be all, “Ummmm, that was not a part of the plan, God?! I thought I got to keep my son?!?”
But Abraham was all, “Here I am” and obeyed, faithful that God’s promises are indeed rich, and abundant, and better than we could imagine. After following along with God’s plan and moments from sacrificing his beloved son, an angel stops Abraham and calls for him to release his son.
After witnessing the faith of Abraham, God says,
“in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly.”
So this week in lent, I ask you… What are you holding onto tightly? What do you love most in this world? Is it your family? Your friends? Your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse? Your kids? Your career? Your money? Your dog? What?
Most of us are afraid to even to there, thinking something like, “I don’t want to tell you what I love because you’re going to tell me I have to give that up!”
Take 5 minutes and watch Father Larry Richards tell this beautiful story about The Man from Crete. It gave me chills.
I'm not sure about you, but I feel that way with a lot of things in my life. I feel this way about God's Plan for my life... like it's somehow a sacrifice of all that I hold dear or something. It’s scary to sacrifice all that we love, because we are fooled into thinking that we are saying goodbye! But God writes our deepest desires on our hearts, he is the author of all that is good and perfect and pleasing in our eyes. He wouldn't have us love something so dear, just to take it away. He just wants to join us in that, and make it perfect.
What (or who) are we holding too close to our hearts? What is our Crete? Our Teddy Bear? Our Only Son?
Is God truly the most important thing in our life right now? Are we willing to give him everything we have, so he can give us everything we’ve ever wanted?
Word up. I am Stacy, the youth minister of this amazing group of teens. I have 4 kids of my own, 2 heaven babies and like 60 teens I consider very large children of my own.