Updated: Feb 18, 2021
February 17, 2021
By Pastor Rob Harding
Passage: Isaiah 40:15
Each Ash Wednesday for as long as I can remember, I would gather for worship, with spouse and children in later years. Whether or not I was leading worship, and during my earlier years I was not, the focus was the same: from ashes I have come to ashes I will return.
Such words, and the actions to follow – receiving the ashes on one’s forehead, might seem to some as negative, bringing disparaging thoughts to humanity. For those of us who follow Christ, we know that nothing could be further from the truth, for it is only in humility that we find abundant life.
While focusing on this in other places as well, Isaiah turns us momentarily here in chapter 40 to national might. Strength seen through the world’s eyes. His point in part is that neither “nation” or “might” are particularly problematic until together they do this: they misuse and abuse the power that’s been afforded them.
Who among us doesn’t recognize the blessings that are ours and the influence, if not power, that we wield? Who among us doesn’t recognize how different life is when we surrender our influence to the One who reigns over us in this Holy hierarchy?
On this Ash Wednesday, consider how you might truly humble yourself in a way that puts God in charge. Yes, as human beings we are flawed, but as long as those flaws are acknowledged and laid at the cross, we can do great things in His name. This day, surrender – put Him in charge – repent.
Prayer: Loving God, we repent. Take all that we are – the good and the bad – and transform us into the followers you would have us be. Amen.