Google the poem “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins and take a few minutes to read it.
This was the opening to Pastor’s sermon. It tells of a man recalling an experience at camp where he made a plastic lanyard and presented it to his mom as a gift. It talks of how she gave him life, nursed him to health, taught him about life and the world and he gave her a lanyard and in that moment in time he was sure that this worthless gift would “be enough to make them even”.
There are some who still believe that they can be saved by their works. That at some point, with enough good works, it can make them even. God gave his only son and no matter what we do, we can never out give God. In fact, as with any gift, you can never give back the same as was given to you. That is not how gift giving works. The mother who received the gift of the lanyard from the son did not consider whether the gift was useful, she only saw the love that went into make it and giving it. We relate to God through our own personal experiences and also through how we treat others.
Our focus during Lent is on the discipline of the PoWeR SuRGe. As we practice each discipline, we learn more. As we learn more and grow in our relationship with Christ, we are more freely able to define what our relationship with God means in our lives.
Take a moment to re-read “The Lanyard” and wherever you read the word “mother, she or her” substitute it with the word God. God will receive our lanyard when we give it to him and because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we know that we can never repay this sacrifice but certain that God loves us and accepts us anyway. This is the perspective of Lent.