Reading: 1 John 1:5–10
The word “Lent” means “spring,” as in the season. This season was once called “Quadragesima,” meaning “about 40 days” before Easter, which would seem to make more sense. However, when we think about the world around us at this time, we can’t help but start to think of spring. The darkness of night is giving way to the light of day. The world is slowly emerging from winter, anxiously awaiting the first buds of new flowers.
St. John’s words for us today speak of the light of God in which there is no darkness. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light no darkness shall overcome. We confess that Christ has joined Himself to us in the incarnation and then bears our sins to the cross. If we claim to be joined to Christ, who is the light, how then can we deliberately walk in darkness? At the same time, “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (v. 8).
So here we stand. We must confess that we have sin so long as the Old Adam clings to our flesh, yet we must not walk in the darkness of our sins. Therefore, cling to the light of Christ. Confess your sins and walk in the light as one cleansed by His holy and precious blood.
O Christ, the light of all the living, curb our flesh and renew our hearts that we would desire only to walk in Your light, trusting in the cleansing of Your precious blood; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Thy love and grace alone avail
To blot out my transgression;
The best and holiest deeds must fail
To break sin’s dread oppression.
Before Thee none can boasting stand,
But all must fear Thy strict demand
And live alone by mercy. (LSB 607:2)
Mark Kranz (Sem IV, CTSFW)