Contributed by Grace Martino. This is the fifth in a series of blog posts for Lent. Scripture readings for the fifth Sunday of Lent are Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45.
As many of us may know, Lent is a time of self-discipline, sacrifice, simplicity, and spiritual growth. Often during this period we give up something we love or may have become accustomed to in order to show God that he is truly all we need.
But is that all? Lent should not only be a time of sacrifice, but should also be a time of replacing negatives with positives. You may ask yourself, “Where do I start?” or even, “What possibly could I do to make a difference?” Although these questions are hard as you ponder them, the answer is actually simple. God calls us to love and to be compassionate as Jesus was with the death of Lazarus. John 11: 33 tells us that “When Jesus saw her (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” Jesus saw the struggle and sadness in his loved ones and also in those around him. God calls us to have the same eyes as Jesus as we observe and think about the troubles of immigrants and refugees locally and globally. Jesus was spiritually motivated to act and was distressed by the matter at hand. We should feel inclined to reach out a hand and in some way or another help those who need it.
God is more than powerful and able and, with God, there is nothing we cannot do. In God we do not have to dream small. God is in our favor and with God’s help we can support immigrants and refugees in all different types of ways. By simply declaring God’s promises we can see God’s hand at work. Ezekiel 37:14 says, “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.” God in his time has already given and established these immigrants and refugees with homes. It is up to us to lead this work forward so God may continue to unravel his plans and pour out God’s blessings on his people.
In this season of Lent, exit your comfort zone and stretch yourself to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Grace Martino is a senior in high school and an active member of the First Hispanic Baptist Church of New London, Connecticut. Grace serves as Events Coordinator on the national leadership team of AB GIRLS, AB Women’s Ministries.