Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday 2011 (repost)

Hebrews 3:7-15

7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9where your ancestors put me to the test, though they had seen my works 10for forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.’ 11As in my anger I swore, ‘They will not enter my rest.’” 12Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (NRSV)

Ash Wednesday is a time when we enter into purposeful and intentional reflection on our lives with God. It is a time to open our hearts and minds to what God has to say to us about our relationship with ourselves, with each other, and with God. On Transfiguration Sunday (this last Sunday), Jesus' glory and divinity was revealed to us on the mountaintop. God's voice broke through and said "this is my son, the beloved. Listen to him!" Sometimes when we hear God's voice so directly, we freak out, just as the disciples who witnessed this event did, and yet Jesus gently tapped them on the shoulders and said "Get up. Do not be afraid."

So this Lenten season, we must repent of being afraid to approach God and repent of our fear of letting God into our lives. We must put away our rebellion, encourage each other on this journey we are on together just as the writer of the letter to the Hebrews instructs us, and become parters WITH Christ and OF Christ. Open our hearts to the voice of God.

I cannot see very far into my future right now. It is like I am looking into a black fog. But I am not afraid. I know that God has magnificent things in store for me and is guiding my footsteps. It is my fervent prayer that you will open your hearts up to God and let God guide your footsteps as well, even if they lead into a place where you cannot see.

In Christ's holy name I pray for each of you.


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