Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday

DAY 1: February 17, 2021                                                        ASH WEDNESDAY- Galatians 2:20

“It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me.” Luther said, “By faith you are cemented to Christ that He and you are one person.”[2]  “I am dead,” says St. Paul. But, never the less, “I live.” I have been crucified with Christ so now I live.

Believers see themselves living in a state of dependence. They are crucified with Christ, and yet Christ lives in them. During this season of lent we will walk with the Savior observing His passion, suffering, death and glorious resurrection. As we begin this journey we must remember our entire life centers on Christ. We do not live unto ourselves. We focus on Christ. To live for Christ we must daily die to self through repentance, contrition and faith.
This Lenten journey is a constant reminder that daily we die to self only to be raised to live with Christ. This often requires suffering, self-denial and sacrifice. These demands run contrary to the world’s wisdom. There is a modern day epidemic of self-preoccupation! We construct in our minds how things should be for me to be happy and get “my way.”   In lent we simply die to self as we walk humbly with the Savior.
During this Lenten journey remember you are not alone. You have been crucified with Christ. And in Him you live.    
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.[3]
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[4]
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.[5]

[1] Ash Wednes jpg copyright © Google Images
[2] Luther’s Works American Edition 26:168 copyright © Concordia Publishing St. Louis Fortress Philadelphia, 1955-86
[3] Taken from the CPH Lenten Series Don’t Be Afraid © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO

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