It may be a bit late this year, but Lent is now finally upon us, those forty days when we are often urged to look beneath our surfaces and find the horrors that are lurking there so we can chase them out and be miraculously more ready for Easter, than if we had left them buried and forgotten.
Now I am not saying that there isn’t a place for confession and noting those things which we haven’t got quite right and addressing them because I firmly believe that there is. The old saying ‘confession is good for the soul’ is loaded with truth for when we confess our souls are lightened from bearing the burden of remorse, or revenge or bitterness, that we all too easily carry around. While God rejoices in the good confession does for us, we are sadly mistaken if we think that confessing means God loves us more. If it did, it would also mean that God’s love is conditional and shows partiality, which it doesn’t. God loves us not despite our failings but regardless of them, God loves the beauty and promise that is within us.
Amidst all the harrowing pictures to come out of New Zealand after their devastating earthquake came this one:
The quake was such that some icebergs toppled over in the Tasman Lake. Instead of the dirty side of the iceberg which we often see we see the beauty which is usually beneath the water.
Inside each of us, maybe deep inside but there nevertheless, is beauty and this Lent I would urge you to instead of seeking out your failings (which you are probably all too aware of and should be dealing with each and every day of the year) to search for your beauty, your gifts and blessings which often go by unnoticed and unacknowledged. So that we can rejoice on Easter Day not because we miserable sinners that have somehow still been saved, but because we have searched and seen the beauty within us that God sees and wants to save for eternity.