Ash Wednesday, March 1

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
Hebrews 12:1-14

In today’s passage we find the Hebrews frustrated by the persecution they were suffering despite their conversion to Christianity. The writer quickly reminds them that their pain is insignificant compared to that which Jesus suffered on the cross. It then imparts a central truth of our faith: Tolerance of wrongful conduct is not Christian love. “For, the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives”.

This passage speaks to me as a son, father, and prosecutor. There is no question that those who have held me accountable are the ones who have loved me the most. Whether my mother and father, my wife, my coaches, my teachers, or even my best of friends, the ones who love me do not merely serve as sycophants, but call me out when I sin. I must do the same.

Every child remembers their parents’ uttering the words, “This is going to hurt me more than it does you.” As a child, we question their sincerity until we find ourselves the parent; knowing that the child needs to be punished, but not wanting to see their pain. This is our moment of truth, where God shows us that we must endure their suffering if we love them as He loves us.

The pain of watching your son’s crucifixion is unimaginable; yet that is what God suffered out of His love for us so we could be saved. Hence, our temporary pain from imposing righteous discipline is equally critical to our happiness on earth. When sin attacks, we must be strong and courageous enough to challenge ourselves, our children, or our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Stepping Out in Lent – As we remember the sacrifice of our Lord, let us lift our drooping hands and weak knees and both offer and accept the discipline we so desperately need, so that we may all feel peace in the sight of the Lord.

Author – Jack Campbell is a proud son and the father of Colton and Carsyn with his wife Krista. He is a verger and a career prosecutor.