Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lenten Reflections: First Sunday of Lent

"Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long."

Psalm 25:4-5

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

The path that we find ourselves on is filthy. Let's step off for just a while. 

As we look back over the first week of Lent, we see that the ashes are still settling. They settle on you and they settle on me. They settle on everything around us. The ashes mock us as we stand naked; humiliated at the broken and dirty nature of our existence without Christ. They remind us of death, and that it stands ready to eagerly greet each one of us for services rendered. But pride is quick to build a false facade that shields us from the realities of the mess that we are. And pride fuels the fire that makes a fist and declares, "I'm better than you!" Rather than picking up a broom, we fight over the mess that the ashes have made.

Break time.

But don't be so quick to pull out the cleaning supplies! We're just beginning our journey and there's plenty of  filth to come! You think we're dirty now? We're going to need plenty of soap when this journey's over!

Today is Sunday. Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Today we stop and rest. Today we leave the cleaning until tomorrow. Put your broom down for now. Today we feast!

This is a filthy journey, but let's not forget that Christ leads the way, and in Him there's no room for the ashes of Wednesday. No place for filth. 

Through Christ, through His Spirit, He reveals to us a path that is waiting of each of us. It's not a path of dirt, rocks and dying earth. It's a path of life, perfection and peace.

We're are on this path together.

We're on our way to Resurrection, and by the time we get there, we'll have no need to carry these ashes with us any longer. Today is a prelude of what's to come. This Sunday is temporary. Easter Sunday is eternal.

May you find your peace today. Tomorrow we will continue our journey, and trust me; it's going to get worse.

Lord, today we rest. Today we find our joy in you. Let Your love cover us this day. Let the joy of heaven rain down upon us and give us peace. You are our compassion. You are our peace. You are our joy. Comfort us in the mess that we're in and give us strength, endurance and perseverance for the journey that's ahead of us. Amen.   

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