MORNING MEDITATION

“We Possess Everything We Need For Life And Godliness!”

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“We Possess Everything We Need For Life And Godliness!”(II Pt. 1:2-11).
Welcome to Ash Wednesday 2024. Just like any other day that has been embraced for a Christian celebration, voices will be raised to question its scriptural relevance. The common question is, “Where is it written in the Scriptures that Christians should put ash on their foreheads and gather for prayers on Ash Wednesday?”
But before we say, “Bwaaammm,” let us also ask, “Where is it written in the Scriptures that Christians should not put ash on their foreheads and gather for prayers on Ash Wednesday?”
Our insistence on condemning what some Christians embrace as a means of holding on to their faith does not justify our own practice; it only makes us feel better.
In my village when a man dies, before the widow(s) raise a cry of alarm, she/they make sure that she/they are dressed in short skirts, scattered her/their hair and strew herself/themselves with ash. The ash is a sign of loss, grief and deep pain.
In was an Old Testament practice to wear sackcloth and sit in ash as a sign of contrition andrepentance. Niniveh was saved from destruction because when the king heard Joan’s message, “he rose from his throne…covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in dust.” The king then passed a decree that neither man nor beast should taste, eat or drink anything. But that they should be covered with sackcloth. “Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence…” When God saw this he had compassion on them(Jon. 3:6-10). This my friend is the spirit in which we gather together to receive ash on our foreheads to mark the beginning of Lent season.
The ash on our foreheads reminds us that we are dust and will return to dust.
God told Ezekiel, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over the detestable things that are in it”(Ez. 9:4).
Let us gather today and grieve and lament over the detestable evil that has engulfed us as a people. After grieving and lamenting let us receive a mark on our foreheads and the LORD whose mercy endures forever will have compassion on us. We not however that our salvation does not depend on any ritual. Christ is enough and we have been equipped through him to weather any storm that rocks the boat of our lives. God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness…”
Ash Wednesday prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to you in sackcloth and dust, grieving and lamenting of our sins and the detestable things around us. In your mercy hear our prayers. Amen!
Have a blessed Ash Wednesday! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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