Lent Day 21 Reflection
Clayton Mills shares his reflections on the reading for Tuesday, March 25. Clayton, from the Houston area, is in the University Scholars program at Baylor University, and he has been attending Harris Creek and been involved with a college Life Group for about three years. As part of a class requirement, Clayton is currently serving as an intern with our church staff, and he is using this opportunity to seek further clarity in his calling. Clayton likes books, bow ties, and being best friends with President Starr.
Today we’re reflecting on seeking God and praising him for having granted the gift of righteousness. That sounds awesome, and pretty straightforward, mostly because its in language that we’re used to hearing. However, when we really stop to think about it, at least when I do, that’s a really arresting thought. Righteousness is something that, by definition, cannot be “gifted”. It must be earned. Why? Suppose I am going to pay the fine for someone who is on trial. I pay for their mistake, but they are still guilty of having broken the law. Though they do not suffer punishment for it, I am not giving them the gift of righteousness. I am giving them the gift of not having to go to jail, but I do not have the power to undo whatever action they committed in the first place. The only way for that man to have righteousness is to have earned it by not breaking the law. And yet God gives righteousness.
One of the verses in the Lenten guide for today is Matthew 19:25-26 which says,
When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
This verse is in the context of the story of the rich younger ruler. This man comes to Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life, and Jesus says that he must give up all he has and sell it to the poor. The man leaves, saddened, because he has great wealth, and then Jesus says that all things are possible with God, even, in this context, to impart righteousness to us! Cool! Personally, it leaves me with not only a sense of peace and relief, but also a sense of humility and reverence. Having been gifted righteousness through the power of the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, I cannot but devote my whole life back to him, even knowing that all I have to offer will never equal the gift given to me.