Today is Ash Wednesday.
In an About.com article it is described: In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers.
Some will really be declaring their love for Jesus Christ and their desire to walk close with Him. Some however, will be going through a religious ritual without any reality in their lives.
Today you may “run into” some individuals with ash crosses on their foreheads. What a great day to engage someone with God given questions. Questions like, Tell me what the cross is about? How long have you been a follower of Christ? Tell me what Jesus means to you? What difference has He made in your life? I am sure you can think of more questions to start a God conversation.
Let’s pray and ask God to give us an opportunity to be used either to encourage true followers of Christ or to be salt and light to someone who is practicing a tradition and not enjoying the reality of Christ behind the tradition.
Finally, though Ash Wednesday is not mentioned in the Scriptures it is a good opportunity to ask God to examine our own lives. Are we growing in our devotion to Him? Do we desire transparency and purity? Are we quick to repent when we sin against the Lord or others? Are we treasuring Christ more than anything else right now in our lives? Are we growing in our faith and witness?
This is my prayer for us today…
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)