“… though I am nothing, but dust and ashes.” Genesis 18:27
On Ash Wednesday, we enter into the Lenten season. We receive the ash cross on our forehead reminding us that we are mortal and our days are short. We are reminded of Jesus’s work on the cross for us. He did everything, and we did nothing. All other religions say, “This is what you have to do to connect to God.” But Christianity says, “This is what has been done for you.”* It’s the ultimate love story!
Today, we celebrate Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. At first glance, you may think they have nothing to do with the other, but God is the creator of love, so I think it’s fitting that today we also celebrate Valentine’s Day. In Romans, Paul says, “But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 AMP) Jesus took on our sin and received the punishment and suffering we deserved, so that we can have abundant LIFE. That is a great love worth celebrating and being marked by today!
In our western culture, I think it’s rare for us to deny ourselves anything. If we want it, we get it. During the 40 days of Lent, we can be mindful of the things we put before God. What are the things in your day that make you turn inward or look down instead of up and out to the cross and Jesus. What fulfills you when you’re stressed, anxious, bored, or sad?
This Lenten season let’s draw close to our good Father. Let’s humble our hearts because we are nothing but dust and ashes. Let’s ask for forgiveness and mercy because we’ve made this life about us. He is our creator. He made a way. He does the impossible. He pursues us, redeems us, heals us, forgives us, and unfathomably loves us.
We don’t just have a king. We have THE KING!
*Timothy Keller, King’s Cross. page 15