Ash Wednesday –img_0219

 

Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Lent is the forty-day period that precedes Easter. Forty days is symbolic of the forty-day temptation of Jesus. The forty-day period does not include the Sundays in that time because according to some traditions, Lent is a season of fasting from Monday to Saturday for forty days leading up to Easter. Sundays during this period of fasting were used as a break-fast.

 

Ash Wednesday is a day when Christians throughout the world remember not only the temptation of Jesus, but also our own personal temptation and sin. I will conduct Ash Wednesday Worship Services today at 12 noon and 6 PM EST.

 

The scripture I am preaching from today is from Psalm 51. This is the Psalm that David wrote as he admits his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. After admitting his sin, David asks the Lord to “Create in me a clean heart…”

 

Some people stay stuck in sin. They stay stuck in the sins of others. Sometimes they stay stuck in their own sins. Everybody makes mistakes. Every one of us at some point will separate ourselves from the will of God. What I find significant in the words of David is that he asks the Lord to “Create in him a clean heart.” In other words, “help me to move beyond my sin.”   He goes on to say “Renew within me a right spirit.” If we are to move beyond sin, the renewal of a right spirit is essential.

 

Psalm 51: 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within me.

11  Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your holy spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and sustain in me a willing spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will return to you. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

 

  1. What sins do you ask the Lord for forgiveness?
  2. What will you commit to do today to forgive someone you have harmed?

 

 

Prayer: Lord, I acknowledge my sins. Have mercy on me for my transgressions. Create within me a clean heart and renew within me a right spirit. Lord, make me a better person. Help me to be more loving and kind. Teach me to rise above the temptation to be self -centered. Help me today to be more like you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III can be found at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

Learn more about the ministry, mission, and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 51:10–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.