Today is Ash Wednesday, and we bow humbly before God, the Great Giver. Today, we pray without ceasing, including prayers for Christ’s ministry through The United Methodist Church and for the 2016 General Conference convening in May.
As a farm child, I was immersed in the continual mysterious interaction of our efforts and God’s great power. I remember our family laboring together to till the soil, plant the seed, tend the plants, harvest and preserve the yield. Yet, at mealtime, we regularly acknowledged that God was the Giver of the food.
The prayer is simple: God is great, God is good, let us thank God for our food. By God’s hand, we all are fed: give us Lord our daily bread.
God was giving the food as we prepared the earth, planted and tended. God was giving the food as we harvested and preserved it. God was giving the food as we feasted throughout the year.
Christ’s ministry is like gardening. God gives as we prepare, till, plant, tend and harvest. Jesus is our guide and companion as we grow in gracious discipleship and fruitfulness. The Holy Spirit makes us more and more like Jesus. The Triune God hears and honors our praying hearts.
During the 40 days of Lent, we will receive daily meditations, generously offered by laity and clergy in the North Carolina Annual Conference. As we read these personal witnesses to the grace of God, we will be inspired and humbled and drawn near to God. We pray that God will awaken us to deeper love, greater joy and stronger hope.
Lent is a time to experience the powerful, mysterious interaction of our humble efforts and God’s gracious love.
May the gift of this day of prayer and these meditations be a rich addition to your Lenten journey and a grace-filled gift, as we journey together toward Easter fullness of joy.