Luke 9:23

And (Jesus) said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Today is one day before the start of Lent. It’s Fat Tuesday. There is going to be a lot of fun in New Orleans today. People will eat and drink and be merry all before tomorrow when they are to supposed to deny themselves similar pleasures during the season of Lent. The sad part is that most of today’s revelers will NOT forgo earthly pleasures during the coming 40+ days and instead indulge like there is no tomorrow.

Our world has lost the importance of God and of the season of Lent. But we Lutherans will not forget. We’ll spend the coming days and weeks praying for a stronger faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Some will even deny themselves earthly goodies to reflect on the temptation to sin. And there will be people who pick up their cross and follow Jesus by bringing the Gospel to His people.

Jesus reminds us today of the importance of denying self and thus living under the cross. We should remember the forgiveness earned for us by Jesus at the cross. Through the Son of God taking our sin upon Himself and paying our sin debt, our God in heaven blesses us with forgiveness of our sins and a hope of a better life.

As we go about our day this Fat Tuesday, let us indulge in the love of God seen at the cross. Let us celebrate the forgiveness we have through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us deny ourselves and pick up our crosses.

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