February 17th ~ Ash Wednesday

A Year Later

Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. —Joel 2:12-13

Beginning Lent with its call to fasting, weeping, and mourning may not sound at all appealing to us this year. Since the coronavirus began sweeping across our country almost exactly a year ago, haven’t we done enough of that? Perhaps never in our lives have we fasted so much from hugging fam­ily members and physically touching our friends, from gathering together in book clubs, choirs, sports arenas, restaurants, and churches. Maybe you have lost a loved one, and you still can’t stop weeping. Even if you haven’t lost someone you know, our country and world are collectively mourning the pandemic’s death toll, the economic devastation it has created, and the political divisiveness it has spawned. Our hearts have been broken in so many ways this past year that perhaps God isn’t calling us to more mourn­ing, weeping, and fasting this Lent. Maybe instead the invitation is to mere­ly return to God with our entire hurting, weary selves.

FOR PRAYER: Take a few minutes today to imagine yourself simply being in God’s presence in whatever state you find yourself in. Allow God to be with you no matter what you are feeling.