The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:3
As we begin the season of Lent we receive again an invitation to let our faith lead us into a Christian life: to take in the law as our guide, to hear the gospel as our hope. Most of us realize that we consistently deny our faith, actively and passively. We don’t act as if we are Christians at all. This is well-known to Christians and non-Christians alike. The confession of Ash Wednesday takes this well-known state of affairs seriously. We confess that while we say we are Christians, it would be hard to tell that we are, based on the things we do and say. So…the beginning of every service, indeed, the beginning of the Christian life, is a confession.
In the confession that begins Lent we hear some of the general ways in which we deny our Christian faith and fail to live Christian lives. The words are straight-forward and undeniable. On Sunday we’ll take time to read through that confession and examine our lives according to it. Then I’ll ask you to think about renewing your vocation as a Christian disciple by adopting some simple Lenten discipline. We will discuss how the commandments relate to the confession, and how the confession is made with respect to the commandments.
One can begin again as a Christian, at any time. Luther taught that Christians should return to their baptisms daily. By this he meant, return to God’s grace and forgiveness. Begin again, today. Christ will not abandon you. You may have failed, but today is a new day and a new chance to amend your life in a healthy way.