Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On Ash Wednesday

The first day of Lenten season. Preparation-for-the-cross season. I search out the crucifixion in my daily reading, and the living word does not disappoint:

My Help and My Deliverer
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
40 uwaited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and vheard my cry. He drew me up from wthe pit of destruction,
out of xthe miry bog,
and yset my feet upon a rock,
zmaking my steps secure. He put aa new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will bsee and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.Blessed is the man who cmakes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who dgo astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your ewondrous deeds and your fthoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are gmore than can be told.hIn sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open iear.1Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written jof me:kI delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is lwithin my heart.”I have told the glad news of deliverance2in mthe great congregation;
behold, I have not nrestrained my lips,
oas you know, O Lord.10  I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
your mercy from me;
your psteadfast love and your faithfulness will
ever preserve me!12  For evils have qencompassed me
beyond number;
my riniquities have overtaken me,
and I cannot ssee;
they are tmore than the hairs of my head;
my heart ufails me.13 vBe pleased, O Lord, to wdeliver me!
Lordxmake haste to help me!14 y Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be zturned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
who asay to me, “Aha, Aha!”16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
bsay continually, “Great is the Lord!”17  As for me, I am cpoor and needy,
but dthe Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
In the cross is the fullness of deliverance, the awesome faithfulness of the Father proclaimed to the whole world. From the moment of sin, God was not content only to execute is holy wrath. Grace leads to a conversation with erring children. Grace leads to a promise of salvation. Grace leads to the cross and God's great deliverance.

We rejoice and are glad in this season of fasting and preparation!

Resources for Lent:

As you prepare, may I suggest a simple devotion such as this book from last year

or John Piper's brief insightful work, The Passion of Jesus Christ.

Over at A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp is offering a free printable to use with your whole family.

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