A must try Lenten itinerary

Lent is coming, how’s your itinerary?

Travel light? Checked!

Camera gears? Checked!

Backpack? Checked!

This season is one of our favorite time of the year.

Why?

Long holiday.

Island hopping.

Family/friends reunion.

And those are just a few.

While you are in your long awaited, much deserved holiday break, join me as we update our lent itinerary to include this activity called, “Reflection”.

Reflection? Checked!

Cool! If you’re still here, then let’s begin with a story of LOVE.

Do you remember the out most feeling of love you’ve experienced in your life, so far?

Some remember their wedding day.

Some remember the first time they held their newborn child.

Some remember a mother’s care when they are sick.

Now hold that thought of love. Do you remember where it is coming from?

As ironical as it may sound; love is not a feeling but deliberate and consistent actions as demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .

I have a few what if’s about love. Though the answer is as elusive as a mist is to the physical eyes, the thought experiment is provocative enough to resonate with our inner beings.

What if love already exists even before the creation? What if God who is an infinite being gave up part of His infinitude to give way to something that is finite. And in the process, what if part of His infinitude was engraved on us. Maybe that’s the reason why you don’t kill, you don’t steal, and you don’t cheat on your partner. Not because institutions say it’s wrong, but because you know, deep down, it is not loving. What if love is God engraved on his creation.

After those what if’s, this one I am certain; God is not just the source of love, He is love! (1 John 4:8)

But because of sin, man has become ashamed of one’s self and felt unworthy of God’s love. God is not interested in your sin. He is interested in serving you, in loving you, in helping reach your best potential. All this is because God is love.

At this point, I want to reintroduce 1 Corinthians 13 but with the context of who God is.

God is patient.
God is kind.
He does not envy.
He does not boast.
He is not proud.
He does not dishonor others.
He is not self-seeking.
He is not easily angered.
He keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
God never fails.

Through the passion of the Christ, Jesus has proven that despite the pain and fragility of a mortal body, man can still respond in love. When people are spitting at him, cursing him, shamming him, he responded in love. When people are angry at him, he never resorted to anger. He demonstrated that love is the only force that defeats sin.

Let me share a simple story of how one ordinary man became Jesus to his colleague.

His name is Andrew.

Every day, he gets a dose of bullying from Fletcher. Everyone in the office has there own story of Fletcher’s unforgiving nature. Andrew barely got a friend because people are afraid to be on Fletcher’s radar by getting close to him.

Though Andrew gets frustrated, he never let Fletcher’s bullying ruin his life. To him, he is just another man helping him grow in character. He never thinks ill of him, in fact, he prays for him.

One day, Fletcher’s son was diagnosed with severe disease, and nobody in the office is willing to help him. He was screaming inside and been stretched to find means to pay the hospital. When Andrew heard about this, he never hesitated to help. He went to visit Flecther’s son and offered to help pay the bills. Fletcher’s eyes got swollen with tears, and his voice is filled with the sound of repentance asking for Andrews forgiveness. At this moment, Fletcher was caught in a deep sense of gratitude. He experienced love, first hand, from the least person he expected.

That day marks a big change in Fletcher’s life. Everyone in the office witnessed the shift in Fletcher paradigm. Andrew suddenly became invincible, from a bully man, Fletcher is now Andrews best friend.

Guess what happens when you respond in love; people change.

From the moment of Jesus death up to this present day, his love is still changing countless lives. If only we choose to accept that love.

And now these three remain:

faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

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