The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10.10)
We don’t associate Lent with abundance, but it is there. We cannot escape God’s abundant love and kindness to us. We cannot escape Jesus’s saying that He came to give us abundant life.
Abundant. Not just enough—more than enough, more than we need, more life than we can possibly spend on ourselves. And so part of our Lenten search has to come around to this question: what are we doing with our abundance of life? Are we hoarding it, thinking perhaps we’ll run low on God’s goodness and mercy and may have to dip into our private reserves? Have we mislaid it—forgot we even had it, maybe—and it’s just too much trouble to dig it out? Or have we simply lost touch with the abundance in our lives? Have we forgot it’s there for the sharing?
Sometimes we allow Lent to train our focus on what we won’t or can't do. We forget it’s meant to guide our discipline in what we should and can do. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The enemy meets us in our deserts, just as it did with Jesus. The temptations it serves up are meant to focus our attention on ourselves. But Jesus also meets us in our deserts. “I came to give you abundant life,” He reminds us.
We have more than enough life for ourselves, more than enough to share. As we walk these final weeks of Lent together, let’s strew life wherever we go.