The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10
Rev. Emily Wright, Senior Associate Pastor at Roswell Presbyterian Church
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. - Joel 2:12-13
In this scripture, the Lord calls us to return to God. The Hebrew word used here for "return" is the same word we usually translate as "repent". I like the physical image that "return" pictures. I sin all the time, even though I do not want to or intend to. "We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory." But there are situations, people, places, and things where I am more likely to sin. This image from Joel challenges, even demands, that we physically turn away from those things where we are likely to sin - with all of our heart - with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
When we turn from sin, we do not turn to nothing. We choose to turn to our gracious and merciful God who anxiously awaits spending time with us. That is my prayer for all of us during this Holy season of Lent, that this devotional may allow us a place to turn towards the Lord our God, for God abounds in steadfast love.
The purpose of the season of Lent for a Christian is to intentionally take time to reflect on Jesus' life and journey to the cross, and eventually his death and resurrection. The Lenten devotional is a tool to help people reflect on this journey.
For this devotional, members were asked to reflect on either one or both of these questions and that this would be a personal expression of their faith:
- What do you value most about the life that Jesus lived? His compassion? His ability to heal? His courage? How has this affected and encouraged your personal journey of faith?
- What scripture exemplifies this value?
We thank each member for their thoughtful contribution. We hope you will experience these devotionals as powerful reflections as well as prepare for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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