ASHES TO ASHES
2 “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:2-3
And so the journey begins. We are ready God to listen and hear what YOU are ready to say. Today begins the 6 week journey to the cross, grave, and beyond. Today we are listening to God's prayer as He is asking us, through Jeremiah, to Call to Him. I really believe that a lot of us may not understand that God is desiring a relationship with us. I really believe that we think that we have not been given the right or the opportunity to come before God. And I just need us all to recognize that when Jesus was crucified and the veil was torn, God opened up a direct line for us to communicate with Him back and forth. God provided a way for us to no longer have to wait for someone else to pray for us. We are beginning this journey today to provide God the space that He needs to work in and through us. We are providing an opportunity for ALL of our families to simply join together and listen for what God is ready and waiting to tell us as we move forward this year.
I know that it is really crazy to think that we are almost a year into this new life we have coined as COVID. We have watched as God continued to strip away everything that we thought we had to do in order that we could simply step back into the basics. God has been preparing us for something more and I believe in my heart that He will reveal that during this season of Lent. I know that over the last 4 days we have been praying for our souls to be ready, our hands to be strengthened, our lives to be shown mercy and to spend time just having the conversations that God has been waiting on us to have with Him. I hope and pray that we can all look back over the last year and realize that God is planning the next steps for
the Church and for our families. I hope and pray that we recognize that over the last year, more people have connected with the Gospel than the last 10 years combined. God has been able to make the Church mobilize and step out of its comfort zone and truly spend time in prayer for what God is going to do next. All I am asking is that you are willing to take this journey with us. I know that our church is providing a book entitled First Words, Last Words, God's Words as a way to allow all of us to connect together as a family and begin discerning the steps that we need to take. At the end of our blog today I am going to ask that we do a few things together in hopes of making this Lenten season one that we will never forget.
As we look at today's prayer, this prayer is one that was actually instigated by God to Jeremiah. See even the prophet was scared to actually to see what God's response would be if he earnestly asked God a question. God responded to Jeremiah and to us by saying, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." God was pretty forward to say that we should all have the assurance to know that God does hear our prayers. We just have to realize that the answer may not be what we expect. God is saying that He desires to walk with us during this time and show us things that we would not normally see. I love the last part of verse two, I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things. God is telling us that HE WILL ANSWER US. He will give us a response as we are deeply discerning the next steps of our journeys. BUT we have to have the faith to step out and ask. Today, we are praying that we will say goodbye to the fear, the struggles, the uncertainty and the anxiety. We are asking that we all believe in the fullness of God's power and recognize that we will NEVER get an answer if we never ask. Ash Wednesday is a way to challenge us to find a way to hear from God. It may mean that we are willing to give up something like soda or chocolate, or we may be willing to take on something like learning scripture or taking on a task that will direct our focus more to God. It is not about trying to finish the race and then gorging ourselves with chocolate when it is over. It is a spiritual journey that draws our hearts to desire to spend more time with God. Lent represents the last weeks of Jesus life as He prayed, equipped others and discerned the next steps that were leading to the cross. And just like Christ, we are called to take this journey with Him to crave a deeper connection with God.
So today begins the simple challenge that we are going to walk through together on this journey. This challenge is going to walk beside the connection opportunity provided by the Church, but to provide a very distinct opportunity for us. As our church is going through the devotional First Words, Last Words, God's Word, I am asking that we take it one step further. I am asking that each morning the first words out of our mouths and the last words out of our mouths are these, "Father, Here I am... What can I do for You?" AMEN. Here is how it works. Before you go to bed tonight, take out the cross you received or one that you have and pray
the prayer. Place the cross beside your bed as an assurance that God is always there to protect us. In the morning, instead of turning on our phones or the TV, when your feet hit the floor, pick up the cross, hold it in your hands and say "Father, Here I am... What can I do for You?" AMEN. When you finish place the cross in your bed as a reminder that God will be with you through the day and will be waiting to meet with you once your day is over. I am asking that we continue this until Easter Sunday. I know that it may be awkward at first, but I am telling you that God is ready to speak and specifically speak to all of us. If you need a cross please let me know and I will send you one or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I am praying for this journey that we are going to take together and looking forward to hearing from your heart what GOD is ready to say. It is going to be a battle so I hope and pray that you have joined me in preparing for this time we will share together. In closing let me say this prayer to you and reassure you that God is listening, "Father, Here WE Are.... What Can We Do For You? AMEN."