We are sacramental, a people who live out our faith in outward symbols of inward grace in the midst of our worship. Today we will do so as we are marked with ashes and reminded that we are nothing more than dust to which we will return.
We are reminded again of the need to closely look at our hearts and our lives, to be reconciled to God.
During this season of Lent it is tempting to give up or take on more than we can handle and like a new exercise program or New Year’s resolution which we start zealously and wear ourselves out with, give up and walk away from. Leading us to feel we have failed miserably, perhaps thinking we don’t have what it takes to be a “good” Christian.
“Rend your hearts and not your clothing” Joel tells us, while Matthew reminds us of the call from Jesus to practice our piety in ways that may go unseen.
These words remind us that God seeks our hearts not the outward symbols of our piety. God yearns for relationship with each one of us. God seeks us out unceasingly.
So as you go to God about what to do this season of Lent, remember God has already done the work. Our call is to say yes. How that looks will be different for each of us and that is as it should be.
May you open your heart to hear God as the journey in the desert begins.