Driving to work the other morning I had the radio cranked a couple of decibels past comfortably loud. I wasn’t listening to the contemporary Christian station.(audible gasp!). I wasn’t yodeling with the country station. ( dagnabbit!). And I wasn’t even swinging with the oldies. ( well – golly gee.)
Five Finger Death Punch was assaulting my ears. And the lyrics were playing havoc with my heart. “I saw the devil today and he looked a lot like me.”
BOOM! Talk about some deep introspection for the Lenten season…. I haven’t been able to get that thought out of my brain.
Sometimes I catch myself in that trap where I think that there are various levels of sin. I try to justify my evil. I find it easier to forgive myself than others….you know – the old “holier than thou” routine.
Moving toward Easter as I read the accounts in the Gospels of the mob demanding Jesus be crucified I get such an intense sensory image. The intensely blistering hot day. The stifling lack of space as the mob jams into the plaza. The frenzy as the Pharisees whip the throng into a pep-ralley chant…..CRU-CI-FY HIM! CRU-CI-FY HIM!! CRU-CI-FY HIM!!! And throughout the masses the devil swirling and spinning as evil permeates into every nook and cranny.
It’s oh, so easy to sit back and say ” well – surely I wouldn’t have been in that crowd”. Or – “I would never participate in something like that.” THAT’S truly evil. I’m not THAT bad.
Psalm 139: 23-24 lays it on the line – ” Search ME , O God, and know MY heart; test ME and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in ME, and lead me in the way everlasting”.
Its about taking stock of my relationship with Christ and taking responsibility for MY sins. I’m asking for forgiveness for the times I’ve lost my patience – for the times I’ve lost my integrity – for the times I’ve lost my faith. And I’m praying that this is a time of restoration and renewal for us all.