Celebrating the ending of another Lent…
This year, I chose to give up sweets and the children decided to give up drinking anything other than water for Lent. Instead of “giving up” something… my hubby chose to dig more into the Word as his participation in Lent.
For the past fourty days, we encouraged one another and cheered one another on when we were tempted to give in or give up on that thing we chose for Lent. Now, I must “keep it real” and tell you that we have also teased one another and tempted the other a time or two along the way as well. My oldest son was particularly good at tempting me every time we would pass by a Ghiradelli shop. Chocolate is my weakness… And I am almost convinced there will be at least one chocolate fountain in Heaven.
As a celebration of the season of Lent coming to a close, tonight (or shall I say, early this morning), we stayed up until midnight and shared a fun little family memory together. (Don’t worry… We’re not that bad of parents… We had the baby in bed several hours prior).
Earlier in the evening, we stopped by Mike’s Pastry (a very famous pastry shop in Boston) and picked up cannolis, and let the kids have coke (a drink they rarely get to enjoy). We sat down at the table, joined together in prayer, and then enjoyed the one thing we gave up for Lent. It was a deliciously, enjoyable moment!
As I indulged in the cannoli, I could hear mmmm and ahhhh’s from the kids. They had the biggest smiles on their faces. They sipped and slurped their cokes, and appeared to be in an absolute state of bliss (or you could call it a state of sugar shock). My husband, kiddos and I all devoured the cannolis as if they were the last 3 cannolis on Earth. And as I savored this precious family moment, caught a glimpse of their gratitude, listened to their mmmm and ahhhh’s, I found myself in the middle of a “light bulb” Jesus moment.
I can only imagine that as Jesus suffered on the cross for our iniquities… As He cried out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) as read from Mark Chapter 15… And with a loud cry, as He began to breathe His last breath… That perhaps, Jesus was thinking similar mmmm and ahhhh’s over you and me.
Did He think about how hard and brutal His death was (the sacrifice) but in the end sing praise and worship to God because of His great delight in us? He loves us with an unconditional love. He literally loves us to death… Death on a cross. He takes such delight in us. He suffered and died for our transgressions… Blood, sweat and tears were involved… And to Him… It was all worth it. To Him, you were worth it. And to Him, I am worth it.
As the children delighted in their coke and canolli, I explained that the Lord delights in us in the same way but on a much grander scale. We discussed how hard it was at times to not give in and give up during the season of Lent… But now that we were able to enjoy that very same thing we gave up, we realized that it was all worth it… Just like we are all worth it to Jesus.
What a mighty God we worship. He sacrificed everything so that through Him we could have eternity. Oh how He delights in His children. What love. What great love.
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:33-39 NIV)