Meridian Star

Religion

February 22, 2014

From the Shepherd's Heart

MERIDIAN — "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." — Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV)

March 4 is an interesting “Christian festival.” That festival is Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is the last hurrah before the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. This Catholic holiday was established in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. His goal was to establish a day that all the drunkenness and revelry would be finished so Catholics would fast and pray during Lent.

    Lent is meant to be a time of penance, reflection, and fasting in preparation for the celebration of Easter and Christ’s resurrection. It is through the Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection that Christians are blessed with forgiveness and redemption.

    The logic of Lent is that we should remind ourselves of the dedication we should have to Jesus who gave Himself for us. The outcome of a season of penance, reflection, and fasting should be a closer walk with Christ.

    Keeping in mind our preparation for celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, it seems inconsistent that we prepare for Lent by excessive activity we give up the next day. Righteous living should not be seasonal or part-time. What is proper Christian living one day should be proper every day.

    When someone meets Jesus and accepts Him as Savior, that life experience should be a life-changing, all consuming focus. From that point forward, every day should be focused and controlled by the knowledge of God’s will for our lives. For the true believer, the Christian life is never seasonal.

    Each day should be an opportunity to live a thoughtful spirit-filled life that points to Christ and His love for others. The root of the season of Lent is good in that it encourages introspection, fasting, and renewed dedication. The only problem is that it should be longer than six weeks. It ought to be 365 days a year.

    This year, if you want to adequately prepare for the resurrection of Christ, be filled with the Spirit and live under his control. Then is when a celebration God enjoys will be held.

Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.

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