I just read an email from one of our people that said how these words from an old hymn speak to her,
“This is my Father’s world, O Let me ne’er forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet! This is my Father’s world, why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King, let the heavens ring! God reigns, let the earth be glad!”
In a time of such spiritual challenge, I choose to trust in God. I choose hope! Now, on this Ash Wednesday let me tell you why.
I choose hope because it is Ash Wednesday. This day is a special one to our church. Normally around 300 – 400 people would gather to worship. I choose hope because the theme of this service is “REPENTANCE.” You might think that would be a harsh and difficult thing. Well, it is. I am a sinner! I have tried to get smart enough, wise enough, accomplished enough, and big enough to save myself. It has not worked. I NEED A SAVIOR! Many, many years ago, I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to forgive me and save me from my self and my sins. HE DID! He is faithful. I still sin, but he is there for me to forgive me and pick me up. I am now a child of grace and I’ve given up the fight to save myself. Only Jesus can do that.
I choose hope because in our Ash Wednesday service we REPENT. Then we take a cut out drop of blood and write sins with which we struggle and then we nail it to the cross. Before we head to the cross, we are marked with ashes and reminded to REPENT and believe in Jesus.
I choose hope because I have the gift of grace that allows me to repent and be forgiven. Sin will not win the battle for my soul. Jesus is my Savior. My daily struggles will not take me down, not for good, because Jesus is the full armor of God that I put on every day.
I choose hope because God created me and made a way for me to be with him forever. That way, is the blood of Jesus, which covers my sins and sets me free.
Yes, Ash Wednesday is a somber time, as I repent and ask forgiveness, but it is a day of hope because Jesus made the way.
I ask you to take some time and know that all he has done for me, he has done or will do for you. Spend time with Jesus and REPENT! Spend time with Jesus and let him forgive and heal your soul. Then, give thanks for the HOPE he gives because he is a Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper…LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS!
I think we need to do Ash Wednesday next week, when we can come and go as we planned. The particular date is not as important as the glorious reality that Jesus gave his life so we could have the gift of REPENTANCE!
I love and miss you all…Pastor Don