The true message of Lent

At 5:00am this morning in the neighborhood where I am staying here in Mazatlan, Mexico, the roosters are having a heyday.  I am sitting here quietly at my little desk watching the darkness and listening to the roosters crow.  

I am wondering what people decide to give up during Lent here in Mazatlan, Mexico, or what people decide to give up at my home back in Urbana, Illinois.  Candy, dessert, buying new clothes, cursing…

The story of the prodigal son comes to mind.  Was it a morning like today when he awoke early listening to the roosters crow?  

He lay there tired, penniless, discouraged, ashamed, hopeless.  But then something happened.  On one particular day when this boy, who had wasted his father’s entire inheritance, decided to surrender.  

That is the message of Lent.  The prodigal son really got it.  

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15:18, 19 

Has there ever been a time you would say you really got the message of Lent?

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