FAITH IN FOCUS: HOW FAR WILL YOU GO?
Imagine you felt you were called by God to do something that everyone else thought was stupid. Imagine you received God’s call to up sticks and move from your home, travelling to the middle of nowhere just to show how much faith you had. And imagine, when you got there, that God asked you to prove your faith by sacrificing one of your children.
Unbelievable? Yes, certainly in today’s climate. But that’s what happened to Abraham. Mercifully, God prevented him from killing Isaac once he realised that Abraham would do whatever was asked of him. This is one of the reasons we refer to Abraham as our ‘Father in Faith.
But before we think we have got away with it, we need to remember that during this Lent God will ask something of us that will give us an opportunity to show our faith. We won’t be asked to sacrifice our children but we will have six weeks in which we can show that we are prepared to grow in the faith we profess. How far will we go?
For Lent is not simply a time for giving up things or doing something extra. It’s a journey of renewal. There is no doubt that during Lent God will use the ordinary circumstances of our lives in order to reveal the depth of his concern for us and to seek our loving response. This will be different for each one of us. It might be the reminder that we really ought to devote more time to our prayer. It might be the nagging realisation that there is unfinished business with family members that we ought to set right once and for all. It might be that during Lent we will come to see the selfishness that has caught hold of us and take steps to remedy it.
We each know that we are capable of being much better people than we allow ourselves to be. God has given us a greatness that we are only too prepared to hide. And Lent is our annual season for renewing ourselves in spirit, for controlling those aspects of our character that make us less than loveable, and realising that although we live in this passing world there is another which will never end.