During Lent this year, we will study the first half of 1 Samuel. The nation of Israel had said that God was their King, but throughout the book of Judges, they did whatever they wanted as if they had no king. When neighboring armies crushed them, they would cry for help and God would send them a judge to deliver them. All was well until the judge died, then they would fall apart again. In 1 Samuel, Israel demanded a king, “like all the other nations have.” They sought security someplace other than God and they acted like it was God’s fault that they disobeyed, as if their problems would vanish if God did what God should do.
I think the connection to our time is obvious. All around, people search for a quick fix to their problems. People seek security apart from God and, in their search for security, usually believe their problems are caused by other people. Lent is a season of repentance, of taking responsibility for what we have done and going the right way. For those who give things up during Lent, you’ll quickly see where you have sought security other than God. You’ll start to see where you have blamed your problems on others. While it isn’t easy work, it bears fruit in being better connected to God, more at peace with your surroundings, and better able to make sound choices. The Lenten journey begins at the Ash Wednesday service on February 18 at 6:30; I hope to see you there!