Lenten Devotion 1, Ash Wednesday

The First Week of Lent
Ash Wednesday, February 13

Luke 9:51-62When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. (9:51)

Ash Wednesday marks a turning point in the book of Luke, and it is a turning point also for us. We are turning now into the season of Lent, the long, lean season of the year. Spring is so near, and yet so far. So we bundle up, and we drink hot drinks, and we huddle together to worship and to sing songs of hope, and of journey, and of weariness. We set our faces toward springtime, as Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem. But the land between here and there is rough. Over the next several weeks, we will travel with Jesus toward his destination. But while he is always journeying, he never seems to be getting any closer to Jerusalem itself, so that by chapter 17, after 8 chapters of travel, he is still “between Samaria and Galilee,” miles and miles from Jerusalem. If you know this feeling, always pushing toward some goal, always with your face set toward the destination, but never getting there, never arriving, then this Lenten season is for you. A time to reflect on the gifts the journey brings to you and to others, and to consider how your journey follows in the footsteps of our Savior.

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