Blow the trumpet in Zion! (Joel 2:15)
So sounds the ancient call to repentance. Get ready! The day of the resurrection is approaching, so fast! Pray! Give alms!
When the people in Joel’s time heard God’s call, they responded by “rending” their hearts and not just their garments. They called a fast, gathered at the Temple to pray, and begged God to have mercy on them. And, as Joel tells us, he did. Not only did God lift the locust plague that was besieging them; he promised even greater blessings to come. He promised to pour out his Spirit upon them (Joel 2:28).
The time has come for us to heed the trumpet call as well. It is time to learn how to love God more deeply and to pray that more people will come to believe in him. But this is also a time when God promises to pour out his Spirit upon us. It is a time when grace flows from his throne, drawing us close to his heart and delivering us from the sin that can so easily cling to us.
This combination of our dedication and God’s grace and power can make this Lent a time of real transformation for us. Every day this season, God will give us countless opportunities to come and receive from him. Every day, he will give us countless invitations to turn from sin and to turn to Christ. And every time we respond to his invitation, God will shower us with love. He will take the “little death” in every act of self-denial and turn it into a shining testimony to his resurrection.
What do you intend to do this Lent? How can you best respond to the trumpet call of the Lord? Take some time today to write down your commitment. Then come up with a plan for how you will carry it out. Remember: Our actions combined with God’s grace can produce miracles!