Here beginneth a loosely planned short series on the Sabbath, spiritual disciplines, and similar things which might come to mind in the course of the series (as I said, it is “loosely planned”).

Those who keep up with this sort of thing know that tomorrow, February 17, is the beginning of Shrovetide or the Pre-Lenten season. It is Septuagesima Sunday. It is a good time then to start thinking about the season of Lent itself, what with its emphasis on repentance and spiritual discipline. In this series (as well as in the homilies planned for Lent) I want to emphasize the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

So, to begin with, we must say with Jesus, “It is finished.” (John 19)

The whole of the Christian life is lived in the blazing light of this declaration: It is finished.

Spiritual discipline flows from a heart resting in the peace of the Gospel. That is, it is a fruit of the gospel and a kind of Sabbath keeping, bearing in mind that the Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around.

As we approach Lent we want to do so resting in God’s finished work.