As we enter the sixth and final week of Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written ‘letters from the heart.’ Each is accompanied by corresponding relevant scripture verse(s), and linked to sources for further study. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, submit your ‘letter from the heart’ by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us complete our 2012 Lenten journey of repentance, meditation, and anticipation through the final days, to the joyous resurrection on Easter morning.
Today’s scripture reading is from the Gospel of Mark 11:27-33.
It has been said that doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge. Yet it is faith – a strong, abiding faith – that serves as a powerful antidote to both doubt and fear.
During Lent, each of us is called to prayer and repentance as we seek a greater closeness to God, a greater sense of our faith. On this day, in the midst of Holy Week, we begin to feel the cumulative effect of our Lenten devotion. We sense more strongly that our faith is rooted in knowledge, and we gain awareness that our doubts and fears will ultimately be diminished through hope, by faith.
In the Gospel lesson for today, the authority of Jesus is brought into question. As He walks through the temple area, Jesus is questioned by the chief priests, scribes and elders as to the source of His authority. He chooses to answer their question with a question, asking if the baptism of John was from Heaven or from men. The process of reasoning that ensues among the learned men causes them to say, “We don’t know.” And with that response, Jesus declines to state His authority.
The doubt expressed by those in the temple (not to mention the fear of an incorrect response) is, at times, reflected in each of our spiritual journeys. All of us at some point are faced with doubts and fears that become barriers to our growth in God. It is Lent that gives us a period of preparation to overcome those barriers. Lent provides a chance of each of us to reinforce our beliefs and grow in the knowledge and love of God.
It is during this final week of Lent, as we prepare to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus, that we accelerate our spiritual growth. Out anticipation draws us closer to God by faith, and we gain a greater sense of the power of that faith. The Lenten season focuses our spiritual attention, and it is through that focus that we build knowledge and understanding to overcome our doubts and fears.
Columbia, South Carolina
If you enjoyed this Lenten meditation, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.