Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, and with it, a call to live a life of love and sacrifice like Jesus. But what does it mean to live like Jesus?
Ever since I began as a staff member at the Farm in September of 2019, to live as Jesus lived has taken on many different meanings. Jesus met everyone He encountered with compassion. He lived a life of sacrifice and selflessness. He was always willing to listen, always attempting to understand. He lived a life of simplicity and care for the world given to us. He was humble, prone to forgiveness, a teacher. And the Savior.
Of all the different facets of his life, one thing remains constant. Emulating Jesus is a hard thing to do. Jesus taught us how to love. At face value, being kind to people seems like a pretty easy ask. It doesn’t take into account that some people won’t accept your kindness, and even still others may give you none in return. It doesn’t take into account the frustrations you feel when people ignore your voice, or defend things that you find cruel. It doesn’t take into account annoying siblings, bad moods, all the things that make it difficult to love sometimes.
And yet we are called to be generous with our love nonetheless. To sacrifice our own ideas about how our actions should be met and make every one of our actions an action of love – both our conscious actions and our unconscious ones. Jesus didn’t just sacrifice for forty days in the desert, He lived sacrificially. When He came to dwell among us, He didn’t spend His time telling others what to believe. He didn’t spend his time determining who was worthy of His teachings, who was right, and who was wrong. He spent His time listening, hearing the words of those around Him, breaking bread with people of all faiths, backgrounds, upbringings.
If Nazareth Farm has brought anything to my attention, it is that my life is riddled with privileges. Some I couldn’t help but be aware of, others are more subtle, but all of them prevent me from fully understanding those around me. All of them prevent me from successfully imitating Jesus. For love is born from understanding. This Lenten season I plan on attacking those privileges. Sacrificing the comforts that I can and learning the injustices born from the ones I cannot. My goal is to have my sacrifice endure past the Lenten season. To use what I learn about myself to better learn from others. And I have no doubt that I will fail along the way and will continue to discover ways in which I could be kinder, more humble, more selfless, more forgiving, more understanding. Because it’s hard. Because Jesus is a tough act to follow. Though, if you ask me, that just makes Him all the more worth following.
-Adam Drill, current staff member