I've been hard at work with a devotional for the St. John's Lutheran Church of Lake Township for the last months. They have a special reflection united with the Stations of the Cross done by the Rev. Joel Nickel, STS. I never thought it would be so involved, but my prayer is that many who go through them are drawn closer to Christ in their faith. If you are interested you can go to the website www.stjohnslaketownship.org to pull up your copy.
Now we begin with Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of prayer and preparation - as well as a time of self-denial. Some don't like the thoughtfulness that is called for during Lent as we are called to ponder our life and our faith. We put away and hide the All-----'s, which is also a sign of our self-denial. We, as the Church, are to enter in this period a time of healthy lament. We lament our faithlessness and our greater trust in self than in God. We lament our disobedience and our creation of our own gods to serve our own needs. We lament our lack of care for our neighbors and the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the imprisoned. We lament our need for Jesus to have to die upon the cross. That is the center. In this lament we can celebrate Jesus Christ and our salvation and seek to better serve our neighbors, the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the imprisoned. We can seek to serve our community better. We can support those in our congregation. We can pray and seek more opportunities for prayer.
As each of us are marked with that cross in ash with the words, "From dust you came, to dust you shall return." We can remember how we are best as servants of our Lord and in the end it is not about us, but we walk as servants of the Lord. May Christ's love pour out heavily upon you and may you lavishly share of it with all with whom you come in contact with.