The triple pun is to the world of comedy what the triple play is to the world of baseball. It’s hard to pull off and likely to make a lot of people groan. Prepare for the worst…
So there’s this family in New York with three sons who decide to head out west and become cattle ranchers. When they get themselves established they write to their dad and ask: “We need a name for the ranch. What should we call the place?” The dad writes back: “You should call it ‘Focus’ because it’s where the sons/ sun’s raise/ rays meat/ meet.”
Focus will be our blog theme throughout our Lenten journey. For the next six weeks we’ll be posting reflections by various members of our church family that will help us focus on Christ’s call and claim on our lives.
The triple pun is a veiled allusion to the fact that we focus in three different ways. We can pay close attention to something. We can get rid of things that are distracting us. And we can concentrate our energy and resources on the object of our focus.
Lent is about paying close attention. It’s the season when we try to zero in on Jesus like a laser beam. We watch what he does and listen to what he says as he walks the downward way to the cross.
Lent is about getting rid of things. Many of us give up simple pleasures so we can focus more directly and more intensely on Jesus. By resisting the urge to do too many things – to indulge in every good thing that comes along – we rediscover the wisdom of simple living.
And at LCPC, Lent is about concentrating our energy and resources on the poor in whom we see Jesus. It’s the season when we plan and prepare for our mission trips, for One Great Hour of Sharing, and for other ministries of outreach. By taking the focus off of ourselves, and giving the best we have on behalf of people in need, we rediscover the joy of Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 brings these three ideas all together. The writer encourages us to focus on Jesus by “fixing our eyes on him” – by throwing “off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” – and by running “with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Which area of focus needs your focus? I hope you’ll check in daily as we think together about that question.
Lord Jesus, would you help me to focus on you throughout our Lenten journey? Open my ears to hear the Word you have for me. Show me those areas of my life that I need to downsize and simplify. Lead me to those places where I can be a blessing to people in need. Amen.