Today’s Ash Wednesday…it kind of snuck up on me. I had planned to post about the yarn wreath I FINALLY finished, but this post feels more appropriate.
(And total side note, but apparently “snuck” is not a word, at least according to the red squiggly line underneath it.
But you know what I’m going for here…the past tense of sneak)
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, counting 40 days (minus Sundays) and leading up to the celebration of the resurrection of our Savior, on Easter Sunday. It is a time to pray, reflect, and repent. Many associate the celebration with the 40 days Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
A time leading up to the ultimate sacrifice.
The devil said “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! Man does not live by bread alone.”
The devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
“I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them because they are mine to give to anyone I please.”
Jesus replied, “You must worship the Lord your God, and only Him.”
Then the devil took him to a cliff and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! The scritures say God will order his angels to protect and guard you, and they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”
Jesus responded, “The scriptures say, You must not test the Lord your God.”
Then the devil left him until the next opportunity came.
However, more often than being associated with a time of pray, reflection, and repentance, Lent is tied to the idea of “Giving Something Up.” And I’ve done it all: coke, ketchup,exercise :o) What was important for me to always remember was what I gave up needed to be replaced prayer, reflection, and repentance.
Recently, I’ve looked at Lent in a different way. Instead of giving something up…I’ve thought of what I can take on to help strengthen my relationship with the one who didn’t succumb to the strongest of temptations during his 40 days in the dessert.
Last year I wrote cards…
40 days = 40 cards and I sent them through snail mail.
This year, after a conversation with a friend, I’ve decided to take on a more dedicated & focused prayer life. Conversation is after all the means to growing a relationship with a friend and so it is also true for our relationship the Lord. III and I are going to do this together. Here is the plan, so to speak. Each week of Lent we will pray for something specific.Whether small breath prayers, meditating over it in our quiet time, or as our last words before our heads hit the pillow, we will pray for that week’s focus. We haven’t mapped out all of Lent just yet, but here are some areas we know we want to pray about:
Our Future Family/Kids,
Members of our Family,
Potential Mission Trip
. . . . .
And if you don’t mind, I want to leave you with an excerpt from what I wrote last year about Lent :o)
Participating in the Lenten season does not make one more holy, and failing at your task does not make one less. God is praised in our desire to honor Him & bring glory to His name. Grace is a gift freely given, expecting nothing in return. God’s grace & our redemption are gifts, freely given the day we asked Jesus into our hearts.
Easter Sunday, is a celebration, but we can’t forget the path that led to His resurrection. Death on the cross came first. The sacrifice of a loving God, that loves us SO much that he would send his Son to die for you and for me.