Ephesians 5:8–14 (NRSV)
8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
It seems that everywhere we turn, there are temptations to sin. Not only that, but our culture tells us sin isn’t such a big deal—pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth (the classic big seven) often seem no longer such negative traits, but simply marks of enjoying the good things in life.
The fact of the matter is that sin harms us all both individually and collectively. Excessive consumption destroys our world. Some people are absurdly wealthy while others are dying of starvation. A contentious society finds even Christians struggling to see each other as neighbors. Human beings, made in the image of God, are oppressed, marginalized, and murdered every day.
Lent is a time for contemplation and repentance. It is a time to evaluate the sins we have committed and to take them to God. Through Jesus we are forgiven, but we are also called to become the light Scripture tells us we are.
Holy God, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. Amen.