Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday Reflections - Psalm 51

By Josh Taylor

Today we begin a journey together...

In Mark chapter 1 we read that the Spirit pushed Jesus out into the desert. Here Jesus was tempted and tested. Lent is a time where we imitate Jesus' withdrawal into the desert.

(As we read through Mark together, the daily posts will be accompanied by pictures from 40,an illustrated book by Si Smith. There are 40 cartoons depicting the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert).

Lent is a time where we give up certain things or take on new practices. We don't give up chocolate or coffee or whatever it may be simply because we should because it's Lent. Rather, we give something up in order that we may be transformed. As we practice the disciplines of prayer, fasting and giving we discover afresh that life is in fact a gift, that all we have is given to us. We become more aware of God's loving grace in our lives.

In the opening chapter of Mark the words of the prophet Isaiah are echoed:
"Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him."

This is the word of God to us for this day:

"Prepare the way for the Lord".

Lent is a time where we prepare the way for Jesus. We clear out our lives, we freshly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord above all else.

A prayer for today from "Lent for Everyone" by N.T. Wright:

Wake us up, gracious Lord, by the message of your coming, and help us, in our hearts and our lives, to be ready.

A "to do" for today:

Pray through Psalm 51 today.

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