Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016    Our Father who art in heaven          

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.1John 3:1

Despite all our iniquity, our selfishness and sinfulness, God has called us His own children through the waters of Baptism. This love God has lavished on us is unique because it is not what our corrupted, sinful nature deserves; it is not what our thoughts, words, and deeds have earned. Believers are not just “named” children of God, but are actually reborn as His children, are actually “fathered” by God. This is no metaphor, for a new being is created. (2 Corinthians 5:17) God promises that He has made us His children. Despite the lies, deceptions and partial truths of the world, God never lied to us, as He has never failed to what He has promised. You can count on Him. Believers, the children of God, possess eternal life new in time. Yet the corruption of our sin hides the glory that is already present in us. Although the world cannot see the glory of God in His children, the world does not encounter the different lifestyles of believers. Often, the world hates believers. This hatred arises from the fact that a good life, when encountered, will always draw a comparison or judgment, confronting the world with how far it has fallen short.[1]

We live in a broken world. Outside of Eden. Because of Adam’s fall, we receive Adam’s curse, for we are children of Adam and his decedents. “Cursed is the ground because of you…for you are dust and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:16b, 19b) But we also look for that restoration which comes from a Savior. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, ands between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) That is why we call this day Ash Wednesday.

As we meditate on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer may we daily approach our merciful Father, seeking His mercy, for a new life, which comes from the Ashes of repentance.   

The Lenten season is upon us once again, O Lord God, and we come to You with the sign of ashes, and the sign of what we are and what we have been. With repentant hearts, we come to You, begging You for forgiveness and life.[2]

Almighty God, you have created me out of the dust of the earth: Grant that these ashes may be to me a sign of my mortality and penitence that I may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen[3]

Savior, the season of Lent is upon us. You have directed us to come imploring- crying out in Your Father’s name. As we have experienced the Father’s mercy and love, which You earned for us, may we demonstrate this same mercy with others especially those who do not yet know You for You demand both mercy as well as sacrifice from those who would bear Your name.[4]

[1] The Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House St, Louis, MO Pg.2175
[2] Taken from the CPH Lenten Series Don’t Be Afraid © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO

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