DEVOTION: Ash Wednesday

by Beth Bondurant

Today is the first day of Lent which will last 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays).

Many will gather to receive the sign of the cross on their forehead written in black ashes made from burned palm leaves.  Repentance... forgiveness and love seal us in the knowledge that God is with us in reconciliation and hope as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of life anew on Easter morning.

"Remember...from dust you are and to dust you will return."

Ashes represent our sorrow for "missing the mark" of how God would have us to live. We recognize our inability to love God and one another unconditionally and in every action we take.

"God's kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the good news of God's love."

Not only do we repent but we commit ourselves to seeking God's way.  Taking time to fast, study and pray... to walk in the way of love and turn compassion into action.

O God, I get so carried away in my own world that I forget my reason for being. You fashioned me with loving hands to be and become a reflection of goodness and grace.   Life is so easily turned into repetition and redundant allurement that we quickly travel "far away" from faithfulness and self-control. Thank you for reminding us with the sign and seal of your love and redemption.  Restore a right spirit within us.  Renew us in our commitment to gentleness and peace.  Mend our ways and patch our hearts ... for we need to be nourished with the joy of sacrificial living and giving. We kneel before God waiting for the touch of peace... the sign of love... freely offered and humbly received on Ash Wednesday. 

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