We started our Lenten journey yesterday, capped off with our Ash Wednesday service last night. What a beautiful time we had together in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit guiding and ministering to us as we learned more of what it is to seek after God’s fullness for our lives.

As you know, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a season of the church year where believers reflect on the passion and death of Christ and determine to identify with Christ and renew their commitment to Him. Lent is a time of fasting, prayer and simple living that ends with the celebration of Easter. The defining ritual of Ash Wednesday is the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross on the forehead, or back of hand, of the believer accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” from Genesis 3:19. This is a symbol of identity with Christ and desire to follow Him.

Some suggestions to ponder during Lent:

  • What progress am I making in sharing gladly with the poor?
  • How is God’s grace evident in my attitudes toward those who irritate me?
  • How is my corporate worship contributing to community?
  • Am I equally charitable to family members?
  • Can I re-budget so as to have more to give away?
  • Do I speak in defense of those who are unjustly maligned?
  • How can I better support legislation that helps the disadvantaged?
  • Am I listening more than talking more in personal devotion – thanking more than complaining or requesting?
  • How am I confronting prejudice in my life?
  • How can I practically respond to the hurting people around me, in addition to prayer?
  • Am I consistent in attendance in corporate worship setting an example of service and God’s worth in my life?

I would also like to share something that my dear friend, Dr. Clark Armstrong, wrote that helps guide my thought during Lent.

It Is The Christ Of Calvary

It is the Christ of Calvary who cares and can carry us.
It is the God of Golgotha who gave us grace.
It is the Suffering Savior who struggled up the street of sorrows to solidify sin’s solution.
It is the Man in the Middle who is the Messiah that makes us mighty.
It is His bloodied, bruised and beaten body that was broken for backsliders and bums like us.
He was the silent sacrifice who silenced Satan by His submission.
It is the Lord who laid down His life that lifts the lame, loves the lepers and lightens our loads.
He is our Vicarious Victor who severed the veil.
He is the Wounded one who waged the war and won.
He took the terrible treatment and terminated on the tree for the total atonement of the transgressors.
He is our humble hero with a heart for the hurting who has handed us healing,
The unknown Nazarene who nixed the negative with the nails;
It’s just the Jew Jesus who has become the Just Justifier.
He is the Shepherd of our souls who was the servant that was slain for the sheep who had strayed.
He is our Everlasting Example who endured everything and entrusted himself to the Eternal Father for each of us.
He is the King who is crowned because of His sacrifice on the cross where He cast the curse in the chasm and corrected the complaint completely.
It is the Christ of Calvary who cares and can carry us.
It is the God of Golgotha who gave us grace.

May God, who has forgiven us now, make us strong for these days ahead.

May Jesus lead us, and may we be found faithful to follow.

May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness, burning away the chaff of our lives, and purifying our hearts for all to see and be blessed.

May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Mercy, Master, and Fire, be with us and remain with us always!

Let’s go, now, in these days, to love and serve God and your neighbor!