Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ash Wednesday

When our daughter, Deborah was critically ill at age 2 months, her Daddy and I sat in the waiting room of the hospital where other people with sick children were waiting.

If you have spent many days in a hospital waiting room, you realize how you begin to interact with people. You listen to their story and tell yours. You become concerned about their loved one and appreciate their concern for yours. Each individual patient is precious to someone.

Charles and I were so distraught that someone asked, “Is she your only child?” I replied, “She is our fifth child, but she is our only Debi.”

Jesus came to earth to tell us the amazing news that each individual one of us is precious to God. We each have our own fingerprint, our own voice ascent, our own DNA. God so loved each one of us that he sent Jesus that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:15)

The Pharisees thought God rejoiced in the death of “sinners.” In Luke 15 , Jesus tell us there is joy in heaven when each one of us repents of our wandering and believes this greatest Good News the world has ever heard! (Luke 15:10)

Ash Wednesday begins Lent and the believer’s journey to Holy Week and Easter. It is a journey of individual repentance and prayer. In the Service of Ashes, we kneel at the altar and the pastor marks the sign of the cross in ashes on our forehead. The ashes are to remind us that our physical body is dying. The sign of the cross is to remind us that we are more than our physical body.

What we call” death” does not have the last word over what God calls “life.” It is Ash Wednesday but Easter is coming!

Prayer: Father, during this Lenten season help each one of us to kneel at the cross in humility and to arise in the strength of knowing who we are in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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