Lent background 6

Welcome to this Lenten devotional.  Over these next 40 days (excluding Sundays), we’ll share scripture, reflections and prayers that will invite us to pause and  refocus on the one who is walking toward the cross.   My prayer is that as we make our way through these days, that we’ll enter more fully into this season of repentance and renewal.   I welcome your own thoughts in the space provided as we share in this time together.


12 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.    (Joel 2:12-13)


On this opening day of Lent, many will gather for a mid-day or evening service in which ashes are smudged onto their foreheads in the shape of a cross.  It’s a mark, an ashen branding.  But unlike Nike’s “swoosh” which beckons us to “just do it,” this mark is a reminder of our own limitations and the fact that, as we just begin to conjure the cross, “God did it.”


Dear Lord,

As we begin this Lenten time of prayer and devotion, we pray that you will guide us and encourage us as we follow you in humility, faith and hope.   Amen.