Wednesday, February 18th

Ash Wednesday

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he…. (Joel 2:12-13).

There is a story about a group of young people who were competing in a race. The event was organized for people with disabilities. As a man with Down syndrome took the lead, he looked back at his competitors. One of them had fallen on the track. Without hesitation, the leading contestant came to a halt. Forfeiting his certain victory, he walked back to the crying runner and helped him up. Together, they ran hand in hand toward the finish line.

The story sheds light on the journey we begin today, Ash Wednesday. As we return to the Lord we may fall on the track. The practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving can be exhausting. Repentance is hard work and change requires great stamina.

But the Lord, our champion, is gracious and merciful. He will never leave us alone on the race of faith. If we collapse, he will always help us up.

This Lent, run hand and hand with Jesus. He’ll take you to the finish line of Easter.

Copyright – Nancy Jo Sullivan