Relent. This is what I’m telling myself these days.
As Florence and her machine (Florence + the Machine) sing so beautifully in their lenten-like song Never Let Me Go: “I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in.”
To be clear.
This does not mean oppression does not matter.
This does not mean sin is just accepted.
Giving in, instead, means someone else does not rule my life.
Giving in means something else, like money and power, does not own me.
Giving in is the way to freedom, to security, and to peace. This is the way of Jesus’s cross.
So I am relenting to the knowledge that I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
So I am relenting to be a small, but meaningful part of the whole.
So I am relenting to needing others in my life.
So I am relenting to trust God with every moment.
So I am relenting to hope, that good will overturn the bad.
I readily relent because Jesus has gone to the lowest low, taking on the role of slave/servant, coming alongside others and caring deeply for their being.
Yes, this Lent I am relenting. But I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in.
What a beautiful day, what a wonder. The warming sun reflects God’s goodness on all. The chilly air is not the only experience this morning. No, there is warmth, there is hope.
The sun this morning hit me like a shock. I wasn’t expecting to feel its warmth as I stepped out from the coolness of our apartment leftover from the night before. Lent is a reminder of the sudden goodness that can come to the world’s darkness – the coming alongside suffering and overcoming evil done by Jesus the Christ.
25 Guys… 1 Common Goal.
This phrase became the rallying cry for the San Francisco Giants during the MLB post-season. Down 0-2 and 1-3 against other teams that needed just 1 more win to end the Giants season, 25 Guys… 1 Common Goal was coined by the Giants struggling starting Right Fielder, Hunter Pence. Rev. Pence, as some began to call him, held worship in the dugout before the start of their first elimination game.
“Get in here, everyone get in here … look into each other eyes..now! Look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you, it’s the most fun, the best team I have ever been on, and no matter what happens we must not give in, we owe it to each other, play for each other, I need one more day with you guys… play for each other not yourself.” (Account from their Assistant Coach via Facebook)
“Play for each other not yourself”. Wow, that’s gospel. Don’t look just to your own needs, but to the needs of others. It’s about us. Together. This is what God’s community of believers, the Body of Christ, God’s people is about. What could we accomplish, what could we do if we lived out this mantra in our very own communities? It very well could be what Paul was hoping would happen in Corinth – that the insignificant should be held in high esteem; that with Jesus at the top, those who thought they were significant were to humble themselves and lift those who, by all other measures, were not important to be the most important.
Will you bring hope? Will you love? Will you help restore others? Will you play for each other and not yourself, because you don’t want the fellowship to end? (And by the way – when it’s about others, you’re included in that.)
One church… 1 common goal.