Today is "Fat Tuesday" (Mardi Gras) and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent; a season to remember, reflect, and recommit.
Fat Tuesday is an attempt to satiate our appetites before giving them up for Lent. However I believe that pattern misses the point. When Jesus showed up on the scene He preached good news. This was the good news: "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"
The good news begins with an announcement; a reality that has changed the course of history forever,
"The kingdom of God has come near." This essentially is the good news, and the only appropriate response is to repent and believe.
To repent involves change; not only change in behavior but also change in the way we think. I have said before and I still believe it is more important that we change our way of thinking than that we change our behavior. Our way of thinking is religion (our attempts to make things right with God), but religion can never make us right with God. Only Jesus, the one true king, who brings the kingdom of God near can make us right with God. This is why the command following repent is believe.
To believe in the Bible means to believe God; to take Him at His word and trust Him completely. Only by believing can we be made right with God.
So enjoy Fat Tuesday if you wish and observe Ash Wednesday as well but never for get when the ashes are applied and the minister says "repent and believe the good news" that it is only by believing that we can be made right with God.
I invite you to share some of your own thoughts as we journey together along the way ....