Its Ash Wednesday. I was reminded today as I walked the halls of the hospital where my wife is a patient and crossed paths with a woman bearing the sign of the cross on her forehead in ash.
As the gritty ash is pressed onto the forehead, we are reminded that from dust we originated and to dust we will eventually return. But, thanks be to God that death has lost its sting thanks to Jesus and His death on the cross. And those who have placed their faith in the Messiah have been made spotless, without blemish and guaranteed an inheritance in Heaven.
This is the Good News of the Gospel. As the writer of Hebrews attests “…let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run the race set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, despising shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”
What was that JOY set before Him? YOU are that joy. The restoration of Gods children to their Creator and Father. A role that was ordained for Him before the foundation of the world. The deepest longing of the Fathers heart is the loving restoration of His children.
Rest today, as this season of Lenten reflection begins, that you are His beloved son or daughter and our loving response to this ultimate sacrificial act is to fall humbly into the outstretched arms of our Abba Father.