“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Be contrite and repentant! This day sets the tone for the start of our faith adventure. How will you join in? With heart and mind. Not for show! Return to the Lord and he will welcome you in. He is loving and compassionate.
How will you embrace the opportunity we have during this Lenten season to draw closer to the Lord? What should you abstain or give up during this time of fasting? How can we use this time as a family both in our homes and in our churches to call the community of faith back together?
The Lord’s clear call to us as we enter this special time of spiritual discipline is to gather the family at the table. May each of us find in the telling of the greatest of all stories our place, our name, and our sense of belonging in the family of God.
Through this next 40+ days we need to focus and remember that this season is not about us and our sacrifices. It is about honoring Jesus through purging of our temples. It is about making ourselves a better and more useful vessel for his ministry. It is about being Jesus to others!
Don’t focus solely on what bad habit you can break and how much weight (etc…) you will lose because of it. If that is your purpose get on a diet and leave Lent out of it! The true purpose is to use the time you would be doing …… for God! Whether pray, discipleship, helping the church with odd jobs, etc… Use it to glorify God and further His love to others. Use it by allowing Him to use you!
Lord God, send your spirit to guide and direct us through these days. Sanctify us and make us more like you. Give us the hunger for your word, your spirit, your will! Give us the light of your presence, your peace from heaven, and the salvation of my soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Italicized portion from “Ashes to Fire” devotional