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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

Today begins Lent, the season that prepares Christians for the commemoration of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We start this season with ashes to remind us that we come from dust and to dust we shall return.  Many see it as a time of sadness and mourning.  But Lent is really a time of transition, where we can renew our commitment, come home and change our lives.

The Year of the LORD’s Favor - Isaiah 61
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
   because the LORD has anointed me 
   to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
   to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, 
to comfort all who mourn, 
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor.

Today I received ashes, but in 40 days I hope to celebrate in the beauty of the Lord's resurrection on Easter.