Ash Wednesday

As ashes are signed on our foreheads, we hear the words, “Turn from sin; trust the good news.” What does that mean? Sin in the Hebrew context was anything less than the fullness of what God wants us to become.

“Turn from all that drags you down,” Jesus says. Are we haunted by worries about the future or shame about the past? Are we still angry about something that happened years ago? Lent means springtime: it presents us with the opportunity to slough off like a snakeskin all that deadens. Instead, we turn to the God who made us, who redeemed us and who lives in us. Just as Jesus would say that the Prince of this world has no hold on me, so we belong to God, not to all that threatens. If we over-identify with our emotions, achievements, children, work or ideas, we risk being in bondage to one sector of our lives, out of balance as a whole person. Instead, Jesus invites us to belong completely to him, with all we are. The only door into the future is trust. God who has been faithful before can be trusted again. Can we step towards that life source this Lent?

 

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