Today is Ash Wednesday and my church will mark the start of Lent with the distribution of ashes. The first Christians prepared themselves for Holy Baptism with penitence and fasting during Lent.
We begin our worship services today with a prayer:
“Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
This Lent, we’re also taking a rest from weekday evening programming and the busyness that we have all come to embrace. Between now and Easter we will individually and as a corporate body of Christ rest, contemplating what God is asking us to do and listening carefully for God’s voice in the warmth of the day and the stillness of the night.
I’m going through my calendar for the next six weeks and taking things off my schedule. What can wait until after April 8th? I need to make more time for God.
I’m going to carry today’s prayer with me and start each morning meditating on it, before I read my email, log into FACEBOOK, or even read the morning paper.
Each morning, I’ll arise, make my cup of coffee and hear those words that I have always longed to hear:
“You hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent….”
Will you join me for the next six weeks, decreasing our busyness, listening for God’s voice and being delighted each morning that he loves us so much?
Blessings, my friend,