In 1996 I was startled as I attended an Ash Wednesday service when a pastor placed ashes on my forehead to remind me of my mortality. “All come from dust, and to dust all return.” Ecclesiastes 3:20 NIV
In my childhood as a Methodist, nothing like this had ever been done. Tears formed in my eyes that day since I had already lost my dad in 1990 to cancer. Sometimes we “church people” just plunge into Lent on Ash Wednesday without really helping people understand the “why.”
For centuries, Lent has been a season of repentance and self-sacrifice for Christians as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is the 40 days leading up to Easter (excluding the Sundays). Many Christians give up something during the 40 days and replace it with prayer/meditation.
In the last 10-15 years, many creative people have suggested new ideas for the observation of Lent:
- adding a daily prayer walk
- committing to a regular act of service to a charitable organization
- giving a household item of some sort to a charity box (delivered after Easter)
- helping a person or family in need
- volunteering at your local church.
Christ took the punishment of our sin on Himself so that we would not suffer the punishment that we deserve. God actually ordained that for His only son! Absolutely unbelievable!!!
Let’s commit during this sacred season to grow in our devotion to this amazing God who was willing to send His only son to die for our sins, breaking the bondage of sin for us to give us eternal life!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that You have loved me enough to send Your son to take on the punishment that I deserve. Thank you that Jesus was obedient to fulfill that destiny for me and all humans. May His transforming power through the Holy Spirit empower me through the next 40 days of Lent. May I become a more devoted disciple and show that through my actions to other people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Worship song suggestion: “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship & Brandon Lake
Blessings to you and your family this Lent,
Genie French Shaver
Lent Devotional 2021 #1