We did it!

 Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.

John Stott

father forgive them

 For many years we Christians blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. It was easier to do this than to accept that had we lived in his time and place we could have been a party to his death. We are not blameless even now. We kill him again each time we don’t acknowledge that was are Christians, each time that we hurt someone else or don’t do something the we know is right. We kill him little by little.

Prayer: God of forgiveness, we are sinful people and we fall off the path all the time. Help us to think before we act. Amen

 

 

Take up your cross

If He laid down His life for us, is it not the least we can do to lay down ours for Him? If He bore the cross and died on it for me, ought I not to be willing to take it up for him?                   Dwight Lyman Moody

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What does it mean to “take up the cross?”  He adds “and follow me.” Am I really following him? He loved and related to all people. He ate with tax collectors (who were hated by the people); did not rebuke a woman who was unclean for touching him. He went against the grain for his time. How are we doing?

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, so many are outcast s in our own time. Even naming them can set us off. Help us to follow you more closely and learn to love even the people we now shun. Amen

 

Use this prayer

This is the prayer we used today at Ash Wednesday Service. It is a prayer we all should use.

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Most holy and merciful God,
we confess to you and to one another,
and before the whole company of heaven,
that we have sinned by our fault,
by our own fault,
by our own most grievous fault,
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, O God.
We have shut our ears to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our past unfaithfulness, the pride, envy, hypocrisy, and apathy that have infected our lives, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to share the faith that is in us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our neglect of human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us.
Hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.

Take something on

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and Lent is here. We have always heard about giving up things for lent but it is also time to take something on. Make a decision to add something that helps others. Each day I like to choose something in my home that can help someone else…… things that can be given away to charity. I put them aside to be donated at the end of Lent.

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Loving arms

I have always loved the 23rd Psalm. Especially the part about going down into the valley. God promises to be with us. It says his rod and staff will be there. God is with us in our darkest days. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are feel the loving arms of God holding you close and know that you are not alone.

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Understand

It is so easy to make snap judgments about others. Today I did a mediation. My initial thoughts had we favoring one side. I always have to shove these thoughts aside and wait to hear the whole story. The whole story is the answer and we don’t often know it. We judge without understanding. Judging is not up to us. Understanding is.

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