A Lenten Reflection

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

“Don’t let the vehicle fool you, my treasure is in heaven.” That was the pithy phrase on the bumper sticker on the back of the Hummer in front of me as I sat stuck in traffic after leaving Memphis Theological Seminary one rainy Tuesday afternoon. Having just come from a class on the Gospel According to Luke, I wondered what Luke would think of the idea that our accumulation of material possessions says nothing about our ultimate affections.

I began to try and visualize the type of church this individual must attend and the sermons he or she would hear. “It must be one of those ‘name it and claim it’ ministries,” I thought. It must be one of those with the large opulent sanctuaries, video screens projecting sermon outlines, and praise bands keeping the people entertained. But those thoughts didn’t last long. Instead they turned to my own Hummer.

No, I don’t actually own a Hummer, but I do have “things”. You know, things that cost too much or take up too much valuable time. Computers and mobile phones, TVs and iPods, mortgaged homes and financed education – none are necessities, so I could put a “Don’t let this thing fool ya” bumper sticker on any of them. And what would Luke say to me? I say “Luke,” because I am not real sure I want to have that conversation with Jesus.

I am sure a conversation with Jesus would include something about an ox in a well, salt and manure, or maybe even about a narrow door. Whatever he says, I am sure it will leave me examining the life I live and the choices I have made, wondering what to do now, and praying for the courage to make the changes that being a faithful follower require. These are important ideas to reflect on during the Lenten season.

We began our Lenten journey last month on Ash Wednesday and will continue until Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday. The season of Lent offers us a time to reflect on who we are as humans and why we so desperately need a savior. We look into our hearts and see the darkness that would quickly overwhelm us. We gaze out across the landscape of humanity and see the evil that would overtake use. The season of Lent could be one long miserable “Crucifixion Friday,” where the depths of human depravity threaten to suffocate the last breath of hope we have. But look, off in the distance, on the horizon of your night, is that the breaking dawn?

“It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place
But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!”
From a sermon by S.M. Lockridge