“Lent starts this week. On February 22, Ash Wednesday, we will begin the forty days of preparation leading to Easter. Often, Christians look at Lent as kind of a spiritual New Year’s, once again making resolutions to get our act together. We give things up, commit to more prayer and bible reading, and pledge to be better at following God’s commands. Often, to help do this, we will read a book together as a church. This year we’re using the book “Impossible Commands” by Jonty Allcock. (You can pick up a free copy at church or order one online.)
Some of God’s commands seem downright impossible: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” “Rejoice always,” “Don’t be afraid,” and “Love your enemy.” You might expect our author to say that if you just try hard enough, they aren’t impossible at all. But Allcock says these commands are impossible, at least on our own. And, if we are honest, we don’t even want to follow these commands. Only by God’s help can we possibly attempt to live them out.
Let me encourage you to pick up a copy of the book—and perhaps even get a small group together to study it. I’ll be preaching on these commands throughout Lent. It might help us have a less discouraging and more fruitful Lent, rather than making more resolutions we quickly break.
Have a blessed Lent!