Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent – a season of reflection on the incomparable sacrifice of Jesus in dying for the forgiveness of our sins and offering us the gift of eternal life with our Holy, Loving Abba-God.
We often hear of people giving up something for Lent – and that can be such a good and tangible way of connecting, even in a small way, with the outrageous, incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
So, go on! Let’s give up something; make some sacrifice of our usual comfort, ease, patterns or pleasures over these next forty days in order to connect on a little deeper level with the greatest expression of Love and its sacrificial cost that we could ever know and experience.
I encourage, too, that we consider what we can take on during this season; what we can offer, what we can give of ourselves to others as a response to the depth of Love that our God, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, has given to us.
Some ideas of what we should give up and what we should take on – from God’s Word…from God’s Heart:
Ephesians 4:31-5:2 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Colossians 3:12-14 – As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
May this season of Lent – May Each New Day – be a time of remembering and giving thanks for the great sacrifice God gave out of His unfathomable love for us.
May this season of Lent – May Each New Day – be a time of reflecting God’s love and kindness, mercy and encouragement more and more fully through us to each person in our lives – our families, friends, neighbors and strangers.