Sacred Holidays: A Devotional Leading Up To Lent and Easter

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

DAY ONE: 


Lent and Easter are the times of year we focus on the fact that Jesus came, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as a payment for our sins, and rose from the dead giving all of us new life! Though that’s what we believe, the Easter season is usually comprised of shopping for our best dresses, hurrying to church to celebrate on Easter Day, and then hurrying home for a lavish lunch. 


There’s one problem: for many of us, that day feels far from a celebration. Some of us are so detached or disillusioned by the actual story of Jesus, we aren’t sure what we believe. And others of us are so caught up in the chaos of the day that we miss Jesus. At Sacred Holidays we always are pushing our tribe to choose #LessChaosMoreJesus during the holidays. It’s hard, but it’s always worth it. 


I’m so proud of you for making that choice this Easter! This year, you won’t stand there in your Sunday best singing to a God that feels far away. This plan is for everyone—whether you’ve believed in God your whole life, or happened to stumble across this devotional, giving God one last chance to convince you He is trustworthy. 


I became a Christian when I was sixteen. Before that my life was a hot mess. I knew things needed to change, I just wasn’t sure how they should change or if I wanted them to change, but I was willing to try. I prayed a prayer one day that would change everything: “God I don’t have faith in you, but give me faith to have faith in you if you are real.” I spent months being open to Him until one day it all came together. 


 Over those months one of the most remarkable things was revealed about God to me—He didn’t need me to have my life cleaned up to come to Him. I had felt judged by those who called themselves Christians my whole life. I wasn’t the girl you wanted your daughter to be besties with or your son to date, and my Christian friends’ parents made that clear. The scarlet letter across my chest was an L for “lost.” I was lost and they were saved, and I had no clue what either of those words meant at the time. 


Read Luke 19:10 and note who Jesus came for.


This blew my mind and still blows my mind: Christ came for the lost. This was refreshing to me then, and it’s still refreshing to me even now, after two decades of following Jesus. Even though I found “the Way” decades ago, I still find myself feeling lost at times. I sometimes forget that the reason Jesus came was to “seek and save the lost.” 


Now read Mark 2:13-17 and note who Jesus came for again. 


The more time we spend among the churched people in our lives, the more comfortable we get with the healthy and the saved. Much like cold and flu season, we fear germs if we step out of our safe and sanitized bubble. But Jesus rebuked this idea and said that He came for the sick and the sinners—in fact, those are the very people He gathered around, and told his disciples to gather around, too.  


Today, if you feel more like the sick or the sinner than you do the perfect Christian, know God came for you. He didn’t turn His nose up at you; instead, He gathered around a table with you. Ask God to give you the faith to believe this is true. 


If you feel more like the Pharisees who questioned why Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors, confess this to your Father. Ask Him to show you the way of Jesus with fresh eyes over the next few days.