Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. — John 12:24 (NRSV)
Today we dare to receive upon our foreheads ashes in the sign of the cross. Let us wear the ashes clear-eyed, bravely, humbly. The ashes are silent prayers for humility, generosity, hope, perseverance, patience and vigilance as we follow Jesus. The ashes teach us that we are grains of wheat falling into the ground. Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it bears no fruit.
Our 2020 Lenten meditations hover around this text, the focus of Archbishop Romero’s thoughts and proclamation on Sunday, March 24, 1980. As he preached, he was gunned down by assassins. Four decades later, his words resonate across eternity to our own time and space.
We know that no one can go on forever … but those who have put into their work a sense of very great faith, of love of God, of hope among human being, find it all results in the splendor of a cause that is the sure reward of all who labor thus, spreading truth, justice, love and kindness on the earth . . . It does not remain here, but purified by God’s Spirit, is harvested for us and given us for our reward.
Let us meditate upon this text and the Lenten reflections that will be posted daily in the hope of binding us closer to Christ and to one another and to the world around us. Let us acknowledge that indeed we do not live forever and that we are called to the splendor of faith, hope, love, kindness, truth, and justice. Let us actively resist all that flows counter, resisting this divine vision for the human family and all creation. Let us nurture these marks of Christ in our churches and communities in confidence of God’s reign over all.
Let us pray:
We humbly pray to accompany you, Lord Jesus, in this Lenten journey. We pray with anticipation, Holy Spirit, for your guidance. We pray with gratitude, Eternal God, for your glorious vision of all things on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To raise awareness this week:
Discuss basic facts in your church small group or congregation about current laws and the acts of discrimination facing immigrant populations
To become educated this week:
Provide your small group or congregation with facts and resources on the pathway to citizenship and the reasons for migration for the immigrant populations in NC
To advocate this week:
Visit immigrants in local detention facilities