Wednesday of this week is exceptional in that it commemorates two very significant events on the calendar. Of course there is Valentines Day, a day that celebrates love and actually originates with Saint Valentine. But for me, there is a far more significant opportunity that February 14 ushers in this year. It is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent.
Lent is a 40 day season that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Maundy Thursday, just days before Easter. This Wednesday Christians everywhere will mark the sign of the cross with ashes on their forehead. It is a reminder of our mortality (Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return) and the need for reconciliation with God. Then the 40 days of Lent invite you to reflect, repent, and renew your commitment to living a life of faith, ultimately leading to the joyful celebration of Easter. During Lent many people choose a season of fasting from something in their daily life, such as some unhealthy food, or social media, or watching TV, etc. For me, it is helpful to have a designated season that prompts such discipline in my life and encourages me to daily focus on what feeds my soul.
So I encourage you to take advantage of this ancient practice. If you need a daily devotion, I encourage you to go to https://d365.org/ or google any number of other offerings as well. We will not have Bible study this week so my prayer is that this February 14—both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday will allow you to come alive with joy to the best news of all, that you are the Beloved of God.