Mar 8, 2024Wednesday in the Word

“He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.”
Isaiah 61:3

February 14, 2024 was Ash Wednesday. What a perfect way to celebrate the Love of Christ on Valentine’s day, the most celebrated day of love in the world. This marked the beginning of Lent. A season of rest, reflection, repentance, reconciliation, and restoration. It is a time to slow down from our fast-paced lifestyle and find Hope and Healing in Christ, in the midst of our “brokenness.” The ashes are used to make a cross on our fore head, as a remembrance of our frailty. And to remind us that we are created from the dust of the earth. The importance of the symbol of the cross, is that it points us towards the culmination of the Lenten season. The celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is our only “Living Hope”.

We have all experienced brokenness, possibly more so in the last few years, with the world being so divided. We have faced the trials of sickness, heartbreak, loss, despair, sorrow, loneliness, doubt and pain. As we have begun this journey through Lent, think about how you are pausing in order to rest in the Hope of Jesus. As we sit in our brokenness, surrender our desires and yield to His will, we can experience the true meaning of Easter. Even the penitent thief on the cross came to the end of himself, while hanging there he cried out for mercy and Jesus heard and answered him.

Psalm 34:18 tells us that, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ephesians 2:5-6, says, “Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace. He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we are seated with him into the heavenly realm, because we are united with Christ.” Therefore, we have the greatest of hope. Why? Because of Romans 6:5, “Since we have been united with him in death, we will also be raised to life as he was.” We can sit still, pause, reflect, take a deep breath and have hope.

So, beyond the brokenness of our past, the pain of our present and the anxiety of the future, lies the wonder of the cross, the power of the resurrection and the hope of the restorative work of Jesus, that reconcile us back to God. But let us always remember our human fragility, our immense need for a Savior, and how our brokenness is made completely whole through the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary.

The proclamation of the gospel includes the good news for the poor, comfort for the broken-hearted, freedom for the oppressed, crowning beauty for ashes, joy in the time of mourning, and festive praise in seasons of despair, (Isaiah 61:3). So, in this Lenten season, ask yourself, “What do I need from Him today?” and then turn your eyes upon Jesus. Amen.

Pastor Andrea (Andie)


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God is active in this world even in the best of time and in the worst of time. God loves this world, and He calls for action. “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, who are called according to God’s purpose.” (Romans 8:28)