Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras: deader than a doornail

Around the world, today will be marked with excesses of pleasures, eating, and crossing normal social boundaries. It's Mardi Gras. For many, that means a day of celebrating everything bad before they're supposed to be contrite and good (Lent).

This reading caught my eye this morning:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Galatians 2:20-21 NIV

So, on this Mardi Gras:
  1. I'm not pretending to being anyone. I don't have to live up to anyone's expections. It's not that I'm bad or good. I'm dead.
  2. Dead is necessary for a fabulous new life. To live fully present, the person I used to be had to be fully surrendered to God. I've given over my old stuff to live an entirely different kind of life.
  3. Deadness is not something I can accomplish. God's grace has done this. Grace means He's pronounces, "Girl, you're good!" Without His grace, I'm ... well, not only bad ... but nothing at all.
  4. I'm God's beloved, ransomed from useless things and a meaningless life. He did what I couldn't imagine, so I can live and revel in His love.
  5. Whoo hoo! So excited to be living this abundant life on Mardi Gras. I don't have to get drunk, dress weird or go naked, or prance around, shaming myself publicly to show off. I won't have a hangover tomorrow morning or feel sick to my stomach because I did something stupid. Nope. That's not me anymore. 
Jesus promised "life, and that more abundantly." (John 10:10) With all my junk and stuff still sloughing off the old me, I remind myself that a corpse is not tempted nor drawn into bad things. It's dead. But I'm not just dead - I've been raised to new life.

I'm jumping around with happiness and glee. Unmasked. Best Mardi Gras ever!

Read more:
*Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV

*I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11 ESV

*Now the word of the LORD came to [Jeremiah] saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." 

Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." 

But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD." 

Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." Jeremiah 1: 4-10 NRSV

*The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Sovereign God, you are the one true God, our Savior. You sent your Son to earth, to live among us and to redeem us. Grant us the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge to know you more fully each day. Give us thankful hearts for your many blessings. Amen.

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