Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday: Ashes

Daniel 9:3
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of the Lenten season.  For many Christians, today is a day of fasting, repentance, and prayer.  As I sit and reflect on my sins, I wonder what Jesus would say if He were beside me as I committed my sinful acts.  How would he react to my transgressions?  Would He look at me, tears in His eyes, mourning my sin?  Would He extend His hand to me, to comfort me and explain that despite my sin, He still loved me?

Many Christians use Lent as a time to sacrifice something.  Various ethnic customs include ridding the house of sweets, until on Easter Sunday treats can once again be enjoyed.  Many people use this time to give up a vice, like eating junk food, or chocolate.  And I too am going to perform a similar act of sacrifice.  But I also want to do something greater.  I want to sacrifice my sins.  You see, there are some sins that are easy, comfortable even.  We do them to fit in with others, or as a way to avoid dealing with the real issue.  It is easier to be jealous of another, than to focus on improving ourselves.  It is easier to gossip that to seem like a "stick in the mud" among friends.  It is easier to covet that to work hard to achieve what we want.  But what would you rather be, comfortable, or holy?

So today, I come to the Lord, fasting, praying, and with ashes.  Ashes of the sacrifice of my sinful, comfortable lifestyle, with a repentant heart, and an honest attempt to move toward holiness.