A Lenten Homily

Ash Wednesday is approaching, and with it the beginning of the season of Lent.  This is a homily I delivered at our church a few years back.  The Lord brought it to mind for you in the approach of this beautifully difficult season of Lent that I hope you engage with the whole of your being.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3.8-11 

We’ve all heard it said before: it is one thing to know about God and another thing altogether to actually know Him. In the language of the New Testament there are two words for know. The first word is “oida,” which means to know something from a factual perspective. The other word in the New Testament for knows is “ginosko.” This particular word means connotes knowledge by experience, and it is the word used in Philippians 3.10, “that I may know Him”…that I may experience Him.

No Christian is going to say they are without desire to know Christ. In fact, I’d wager that if I were to ask, “How many of you Christians really want to know Christ?” the response would be a resounding one of affirming unity around this virtue. And we would thereby betray a woeful ignorance of what it means to know Christ. Continue reading