We are into the classic Christian observation of Lent. Lent comes from an old English word for springtime. The lenten season is a time of introspection and listening….for the still, small voice of the Spirit within each of us.
Lent is culminated in RESURRECTION DAY (Easter) on April 8. Then we celebrate the ultimate victory of life over death. We celebrate our faith in the ultimate triumph of the good over evil. We see the emergence of life, as what appear to be “dead” plants sprout new leaves and blossoms, and reproductive animals bring forth a new generation, each of its own kind.
As Christians we look to Jesus, that special Rabbi whose greatness and power were such that His contemporaries called him “Lord,” and the community gathered about him and in his memory, called him “Son of God,” “Lord of Lords,” “God from God,” “Light from light,” “Our judge,” “Our hope.” We see that the animating Mind, Purpose, and Spirit of Jesus at work even in our modern world.
“Christ” was not Jesus’ surname. His surname was “bar Joseph.” Christ was a title given him by followers. It was the highest title they could conceive. It meant someone who had been anointed as a King or priest. For most of us in this time “Christ” means that divine inward spark and purpose and mind that we can experience in our own souls. It is so much easier for us to understand it as personified by Jesus. This “mystery” can never be quantified.
Thus, Jesus’ words– “I am in you as you are in me.” (John 15:4), “As the Father has sent me, so send I you” (John 20:21), “Where I go you know, and you know the way;” (John 14:4), “I will be with you always.” (Matt 28:23)—are easy for us to internalize, to form mental pictures, and inspire us.
Many Christian hymns are love songs to Jesus: In our “hearts” and at this level of mind we recognize that Jesus is with us IN SPIRIT; but, it is comforting to sing this great poetry, to express our feelings of love and our commitment to a new and better way of life. We can literally feel the Presence of God and the Mind of Christ. We can be and are renewed, made clean, made strong, and filled with joy in “the inner man.” That is why worship is important, and also why we become motivated to truly be the “brothers and sisters” of Christ who was “the first born of many brothers.” (Romans 8:28)