Several months back I was approached by the campus minister to contribute a writing piece to the Lenten devotional booklet the University puts out each Spring. I was humbled to be asked to contribute as writing has grown to be a passion of mine since moving to Nashville, and writing from the lens of faith especially has been a desire.
It was a stressful time writing it as we were assigned certain Scripture. As I prayed over the direction God would have me take, I kept hearing over and over again this prompting of from your heart. I am no theologian that’s for sure. But I knew I could be true to my heart and write from my faith experience. So that’s what I did. I am incredibly honored to have been asked and able to contribute.
My words of wisdom from this for every writer, whether it’s a blog, book, article, or paper. Write it from your heart. There you cannot go wrong.
Today I am sharing the piece that was featured on March 1st in the Lenten devotional guide at Belmont. You can find the entire guide here.
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
Growing up Southern Baptist, we typically did not observe the Lenten season. I honestly did
not hear about it until I was in college when some friends were discussing what they were
giving up. It was not until much later that I actually observed Lent. Not truly understanding the
season though I just gave up something for 40 days “because everyone else was doing it.”
That’s probably not the best motivation for observing the Lenten season; however, I found it
very liberating. I had a conversation during that time with a campus minister who educated
me on the observance of Lent and the meaning it held for her personally. “It’s a matter of
the heart and mind,” I distinctly remember her saying.
A part of today’s Scripture reading says, “Circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit,
not by the letter” (Romans 2:29a). Our lives are fully and intentionally lived when done so
by the heart and by the Spirit. As we chisel away something from our lives during the Lenten
season, we circumcise our hearts through the Spirit’s direction. It’s a movement away from
something towards God. In observing this season of self-denial, we are reflecting the 40
days Christ spent in the desert preparing and fasting. He was fed by the Spirit during this
time, sustained in an unfathomable way to us. He was preparing His own heart, His very will
to begin the ministry in for which He was born to live, and ultimately die.
During this time of chiseling things from our lives, whether they are material or internal, let
us recall what it is we are preparing ourselves for as well. We are circumcising our hearts for
the purpose we were born to live. May we remember it is not the outward display of denial but the inward state of the newly sculpted heart.