Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Of course, this means that the march towards Easter is under way and the ‘reason for the season’ is weighing heavy on the hearts and minds of Christians everywhere.
Lent has officially begun and its traditional purpose is to prepare believers through prayer, repentance, change and sacrifice.
Sounds kinda like a downer, BUT…I love this time of year! In fact, the Ash Wednesday service is my favorite worship service of the year.
What makes the service so unique is the time of reflection where you are encouraged to write down the things and/or sins that you need to ‘give up to God.’ You then have the opportunity to take your piece of paper and nail it to the cross at the altar. The paper is then burned and the ashes are used for the ceremonial placing of ashes on the foreheads of the participants as they exit the service.
All around…it’s an amazing experience.
The actual hammering of the nail into the cross is the hardest part for me because it reminds me that MY SIN is included in the reason for Jesus’ sacrifice. Talk about a real bummer….sheesh!
Sadly, we travel through life judging the behavior of world and not including our own sin. I mean, come on, I’m not murdering anyone, right? WRONG.
The little white lies, the foul language, the wayward thoughts, the hurtful words, the gossiping and blatant negligence of ‘loving’ our neighbor are all examples of why we need the act of Easter as much as anyone else.
Pastor Cheri reminded me that it isn’t just the ‘big sins’ that keep us separated from God. It is the little ordinary choices we make daily that keep us from living in the fullness of life that God wants for us.
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1Timothy 1:15
God loves us…period. However, we will only be able to live fully and freely when we live as He created us to be! (Thanks again, Pastor Cheri!)
Wow! Talk about an eye-opener!
Can you believe that God cares this much about little ole’ me and you? Well, we should because He DOES! And doesn’t it then make sense that we should get to know Him better? And Lent is a perfect time to start!
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Corinthians 5:21
God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is His gift to us. We don’t earn it. We can’t buy it. We just have to accept it.
So, this year, don’t take Easter for granted. Ask God to make permanent changes to your heart, mind and spirit. Use Lent to get to KNOW God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
What do you need to give up to God today that’s keeping you at a distance?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.