The Latter Rain: Celebrating Lent, Day 2
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3
Life is full of contrasts; black and white, hot and cold, up and down, in and out. These contrast point out something very important to us. They give us a standard by which we can measure things as they are supposed to be. Take coffee for example. Hot coffee should be served hot. Iced coffee should be served cold.
If we want to enjoy the pleasure of such a drink, it is always best to drink it as it is supposed to be served. Those of you who drink coffee know what I mean. There is nothing worse than room temp coffee that is brewed to be served hot. Or how about an iced coffee from Starbucks served with no chill? No thanks.
Psalm 1 offers a clear picture of how life should be lived if we want the best experience possible. The psalmist writes of a contrast between the righteous and the unrighteous, the blessed and the wicked. Several modern Bible translations have changed the pronoun in the psalm from the singular ‘he’ to the plural ‘they’. While this does help us to see this psalm calls everyone to righteousness, the change causes us to miss the most important point in the psalm – Jesus is the ‘Blessed Man’. His life is the standard by which we should live.
So what is the secret to such a blessed life? To live with our roots planted deep by the streams of water. When we plant ourselves deeply in God’s word and Spirit, we draw our strength from the stream of Living Water – Jesus.
Lent offers us a time of concentrated effort to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We too must walk through the desert of life to appreciate the blessings and provisions of our Father along the way. The way of Jesus is the way of suffering and sorrow, yet it is also the Blessed way. The life rooted deeply in Jesus produces the fruit of righteousness. In His streams of Living Water we draw all that we need to conquer the wicked ways that masquerade as fun and pleasure, while robbing us all the while of true life itself.
As we begin our celebration of Lent together we are wading out, step by step into the stream of Living Water that is our God and His Word. Our Lenten journey is one best taken together. So, as you read this today, take hold of the hand of someone near you and invite them along on your journey. Take a walk in the latter rain…the shower of blessings we call Lent.