HAVE you ever been asked to lend something to a friend — a book, DVD, maybe some tools, or even clothing?
If you’re like me, you probably forget who you lent it to and so, when you need it next, you can’t find it!
Perhaps you’ve been on the other side too? Having borrowed something, you’ve failed to return it and when you come across it later, you cannot remember who lent it to you!
Many of us have items like this that we’ve acquired on a “long-term loan” basis.
Last week we entered into Lent of a different kind, yet one that bears some similarity to what we’ve been thinking about.
The season of Lent is a Christian festival that has been celebrated since at least the 4th century AD.
Many will have acknowledged this season through the eating of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and might even have decided to do without something throughout the whole of Lent.
According to a recent survey in the Telegraph, this Lenten practice is quite popular among younger generations.
Yet, as the survey also indicated, a number of people are not sure quite what it is all about.
Lent is not an end in itself, and neither is self-denial. Lent points forward to Easter, when we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the supreme example of self-denial.
God, in the person of Jesus, willingly gave his life for others — so that others may enjoy fullness of life now and for all eternity.
And this is where self-denial for us begins — not a seasonal “giving up” of something but a lifelong willingness to live for Jesus.
As he said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
In one sense our lives on this earth are on loan. Sadly, we often live them with no regard for this, living for ourselves and not for Jesus Christ.
This season of Lent, why not return to the creator what he has lent to us?