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Ash Wednesday 3

Monday

Ruth Hallstead

Matthew 24:42-47, 25:1-13

My favorite holiday, hands-down, is Easter. It’s springtime, and things are finally coming alive again, snow is melting (I’m sorry if you have no idea how cool that time is) and the world just smells good. The hymns in church are the best, everything is full of color, and joy abounds. But that’s not where we are right now. Now this isn’t about to be some message that says “if we never knew sadness we’d never know joy”, because I don’t believe in that mindset at all. However, there is a clear purpose to the next 40 (minus Sundays) days. It is a time to prepare for the resurrection. Jesus sacrificed himself for us, and we will never truly understand the entirety of that. But 40 days of reflection, repentance, and expectation allow us to get close. We take this time to open our hearts, to clean out all the gunk, and to “get right with God” before we can truly experience resurrection. Whether this means giving something up or adding something in, the next 40 days are valuable, even critical. In Matthew, we read Jesus’ warning to be ready at all times for His return, because we don’t know when that will be. Every year though, we have an entire season set aside with clear dates for Christ’s symbolic return. Let’s take advantage of that, Amen?

Lord,

I admit that I’m not always ready for You to come back. Please forgive my ignorance, my unpreparedness. Help me to use the next 40 days to return to You, to open my heart to let You in again. Guide me in this time of repentance and preparation. Amen

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