40 Words: “Relinquish” (03.02.2016)

How is your fast going?

As I wrote yesterday, mine is definitely up and down. In many ways, it’s a daily struggle for me, and sometimes I just don’t win.

Every once and while, though, there is a victory. Small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but a victory nonetheless.

I’ll take it.

This Lenten journey is an opportunity for me—for us—to participate in Jesus’ own story.

In a way, it’s easy to think of Jesus as a victim: arrested and tortured by a corrupt religious system, and then executed by an uncaring empire.

Ultimately, I don’t think that’s the whole (or even the majority) of the story. Repeatedly in the gospels, Jesus talks about his decision to go to Jerusalem, and ultimately to the cross. In John’s gospel, he clearly says (and Jeff Tweedy sings), “No one takes my life from me; I lay it down.”

I think that all the time Jesus actually knows exactly what he is doing, and his journey is ultimately a journey of relinquishment.

In turn, as we relinquish our rights in Lent—

… our right to be satisfied

… our right to be distracted

… our right to be comfortable

… our right to be satiated—

We walk part of Jesus’ journey with him.

One of the key reasons Jesus undergoes this journey is to show people what God ultimately looks like.

People think that to be God means to have ultimate power and therefore to get what you want, when you want it.

Jesus’ subversive, even counter-intuitive story says that actually to be God means to surrender. It actually means to set aside your rights and, rather than be served (i.e., get what you want), it means to serve. 

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2 thoughts on “40 Words: “Relinquish” (03.02.2016)

  1. Arrgghh. And not the pirate kind. God JUST revealed to me that comfort is another of my idols. And then I read your blog. Sigh. I know it’s for my good, but I’m working / rebelling / striving at surrendering my known idols. And now another one. Sigh. And thankfulness. I WANT to live for Him. Lord have mercy.

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