“O God, by whose wondrous grace we are enriched with every blessing, grant us so to pass from former ways to newness of life, that we may be made ready for the glory of the heavenly Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
In John 8:1-11, we see an amazing story of forgiveness. A woman had been caught in adultery. She was wrong. A group of men took her and were going to put her to death, in accordance with the law of Moses--a law given to them by God. They were right. For hundreds of years they had lived with this rule, an unquestionable reminder the holiness God expected of His people.
Except that’s not what the law was about. In Hebrews 7, we are told the law never made anything perfect. The writer of Hebrews even describes it as useless in making us righteous. The law existed to give the children of Israel a reminder of who they were, a sign to show other nations which God they served, and a set of instructions for them to follow in order to remain committed to their God.
Jesus flips their understanding of justice and God completely right-side-up. He shows them the importance of mercy. He shows them God’s forgiving heart. He shows them proper application of Grace. We’ve all sinned and therefore judgement of others is a nonsensical projection of our own inadequacies.
Why do Lent, then, if the law and rituals are useless in the light of God’s grace and love? No righteous man would ask a woman to marry him only to carry out a list of duties. No, a man will buy a woman a ring because he unconditionally loves her and, because she is so loved, she then loves and respects Him in return by offering her whole life to Him. God doesn’t REQUIRE us to practice things like Lent to earn His love. But, in response to His grace and love, we love Him in return and give up fleeting things and give them to Him precisely because He doesn’t need them.
Prayer points // Thank God for GRACE!
Scripture Mediation // John 8:1-11; Hebrews 7: 18-19