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Truth Telling

February 17, 2021

“We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20b

As noted yesterday, the Dispatch has moved to afternoon publication so that you can enjoy Habits of Grace as part of your morning devotions. I’ve already discovered something: Waiting until later in the day to blog creates the opportunity to draw upon the day’s experiences. I’ve presided in worship twice already on this Ash Wednesday, once for our schoolchildren and once for our congregation, both via livestream. This means that I’ve twice led the Ash Wednesday confession. Twice I’ve been convicted by what we’ve confessed:

  • Pride, hypocrisy, impatience
  • Self-indulgence and exploitation of others
  • Anger and envy
  • Intemperate love of worldly goods
  • Dishonesty
  • Negligence in prayer and worship
  • Failure to love God and neighbor

It’s all true. I’m a sinner. Ash Wednesday is about telling the truth. It’s about confession. I am a sinner. I will die and return to the dust.

That’s not the only truth we tell today, however. The ashes upon my brow are cruciform. I am claimed by God through the reconciliation won upon the cross of Christ. I am a sinner, but I am forgiven. I will die, but I will live. Lent is here, but Easter is coming. This, too, is our confession. This is true for all of us.

May your Lent be blessed as together we journey to the cross with Jesus. God, as Pastor Troy reminded us this morning, is using this time to turn us right side out. Thank you, Lord, for the promise of life that emerges from sin and death, even and especially during this pandemic year. That’s the truth.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God, in your great love to chose to give us grace instead of what we’ve earned, mercy instead of what we deserve. We rejoice in these free gifts of Christ. May our lives more and more resemble the cruciform living to which we are called. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Me, ashes, and a Christmas tree still green in the Memorial Garden where the saints rest.

From → COVID-19, Lent/Easter

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