Hear these poignant words from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward bringing us into the season of Lent, Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday. During this season, let us be ever more intentional about time for prayer, scripture, worship and sharing God’s love in the world. Each day take time to read the NC Conference Lenten Reflections.
Grace and peace to you as we begin our Lenten journey together.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. We call this first day of Lent Ash Wednesday because of the long tradition of the imposition of ashes upon our foreheads. As we receive the ashes, we hear the words from our pastor, “remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” or “receive this the mark of Christ upon you,” or in other ways, we remember our mortality.
This image of dust is much with us as we approach the Lord’s table, the Holy supper. As we give thanks to God and the Great Thanksgiving, we give thanks that God created us from the dust of the earth, and breathed into us the breath of life. Even when we turned away and our love failed, God’s love has remained steadfast. We hear those words whenever we feast at the table of the Lord.
On Ash Wednesday, we remember that we were created from dust, that we received the breath of life, and that we have turned away. We have not become all that God has created us to be, and so as Lenten discipline for these next 40 days, we will worship. We will study our Bibles in new ways. We will pray. We will listen. We will meditate and we will serve. In all of these ways, we will become humble before the God who meets us in our humility, with power and restorative promise.
God honors our humility and raises us up. God never forsakes us, even when we have turned away from God. So this good news that comes to us in the season of Lent is, God loves us with an everlasting love, and though our love has been imperfect, we continue the journey to be all that God has called us to be.
During these Lenten days, may you approach God in humility, anticipating God’s latest and best gift. May God greet you, meet you, and enfold you and lift you to new joy as a disciple of Jesus Christ.