We are two weeks into Lent and by now, if you are like me, you have failed at Lent in one way or another. Yes, failed at Lent! And, if you are surprised that your pastor has confessed to failing at Lent then perhaps you need to be reminded that your pastor is human and fallen, just like you. If you are approaching Lent with the goal of being “perfect” you will always disappoint yourself.
Let me remind you: we do not practice Lent outside of the lens of grace. We experience that grace all throughout our spiritual practices and relationships. God has extended grace to us and we must be able to extend grace to ourselves. So be free from the idea that Lent is just keeping a discipline perfectly for 40 days. It’s more than just fish of Fridays, diets, or finally kicking a bad habit. Lent is an invitation to become dependent on God so that when we fail and recover we are only able to do so through the mercy of the Lord.
It’s odd as a pastor to write this but you are supposed to fail at Lent. And as you fail, you are reminded that you are not perfect. Lent is not about being perfect but being reminded that you need to live everyday in the power of the only one who is perfect.
So as you walk through this Lent, be encouraged by your failure. Be encouraged that you can’t earn or lose God’s love. Be encouraged that this time is a gift for you to remember your friendship with Jesus and that his blood covers all of your failures.