Lenten Devotions… We’ve Got It All Wrong


It’s the season of Lent, and we’ve got it all wrong.  It isn’t about repentance.  It isn’t about doing something to atone for our wrongdoings.  It isn’t about us at all.  No, it’s about the one who atoned for us, the one who died for us while we were yet sinners, the one who rushes out to welcome us home with open arms and rejoices every time he finds us wandering down the road.  ~Lee Koontz

For me Lent is as Koontz points out, not about me.  It’s not about what I gave up, or what spiritual discipline I’ve added.  Lent, like all our our lives of faith is not about what we do, rather it’s about God.  God who is gracious acting and active in our world and lives each day.  I pray this Lent for pauses along the way to experience the thin places where I get “God-bumps” (goose bumps of faith a CPE colleague taught me about several years ago) and feel, see or experience God.   I give thanks for the One who is and was and will be as I journey to the cross… grateful when the waters are parted, because I need thee every hour.

Wishing you Lenten blessings + God-bumps along the way!


4 thoughts on “Lenten Devotions… We’ve Got It All Wrong

  1. Funny, though, as Lee Koontz says that “it isn’t about us,” he says its all about the One who does all this stuff for us – the one who atoned for us, the one who died for us, the one who rushes out to welcome us … Actually, in a round-about way, it does seem to be quite about us … a God-for-us, a Emmanuel.

    I once wrote a blog post describing that worship is actually “all about me.” From that post:
    “I don’t worship God because God is great. No way. I’m not that pious or holy. Instead, I worship God in response to what God first does for me – I’m self-centered in that way. God reaches out to me, claims me, and makes me his. It’s all about me. Everything else is just a response.”

    Two sides of the same coin, perhaps …

  2. Thanks for the citation, vicarbill, and I appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks for your response as well, Chris. I think we are probably on two sides of the same coin.

    The quote cited here was part of a larger reflection on the parable of the “prodigal son”, which struck me as an interesting contrast to the methods by which many of us typically observe Lent. We like to give things up for 40 days in the name of spiritual discipline, which isn’t inherently a bad thing – it just misses the point. Using the parable as an overlay, the real force of the parable lies not within the younger son’s decision to “give up” his wayward lifestyle, but within the father’s amazing love that meets him on the road and welcomes him home. Similarly, I don’t think the season of Lent is primarily about what we decide to give up, but about connecting with the divine grace that journeys to the cross on our behalf.

    So, my take is this: It is “about us” only insofar as there is an “us” whom God created for worship, and for whom Jesus suffered and died. We are called to worship God for what God has done, not for what we gain from the act of worship, and Lent is an entirely appropriate time to remind ourselves of this reality.

  3. Thanks Bill. I have had a “God-bump day” and this was the icing, with a nice take-away term that I will use and pass along! Glad the Holy Spirit brought me to it.

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