Lent is a season of self-reflection. A season of contemplation. It is the Henri Nouwen and Parker Palmer kind of stuff where we examine our hearts and our souls. John Wesley would ask, “How is it with your soul?” Lent is the time when we reflect on that question. We make conscious decisions to move away from the old life and embrace a new life.
Here in Romans 8, Paul discusses living by the flesh and living by the Spirit. There have been many words spoken and written about what Paul means by the “flesh.” Biblical scholar David Bartlett puts it simply, “Life in the flesh is the life of bondage to sin.” Where, on the other hand, life in the Spirit is “to belong to God in Jesus Christ.”
How are you living your life? In the flesh, bonded by sin? Or in the Spirit, belonging to God?
When Jesus shouts for Lazarus to come out of the tomb, he is calling for Lazarus to come unbound and be set free. When we live in the Spirit, we are living in freedom. But when we are living by the flesh, we are bound in grave clothes and limited to the dark walls of a tomb.
I invite you today to reflect on how you are bound. Ask the question, “How is it with your soul?” Open yourselves to God who calls forth life.