Ash Wednesday and one of Scripture’s Greatest Passages

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Ash Wednesday and one of Scripture's Greatest Passages

Today is Ash Wednes­day and that means that one of my favorite pas­sages in scrip­ture is going to be highlighted:

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,
slow to anger, rich in kind­ness,
and relent­ing in pun­ish­ment.
Per­haps he will again relent
and leave behind him a bless­ing,
Offer­ings and liba­tions
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trum­pet in Zion!
pro­claim a fast,
call an assem­bly;
Gather the peo­ple,
notify the con­gre­ga­tion;
Assem­ble the elders,
gather the chil­dren
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bride­groom quit his room
and the bride her cham­ber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the min­is­ters of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your peo­ple,
and make not your her­itage a reproach,
with the nations rul­ing over them!
Why should they say among the peo­ples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to con­cern for his land
and took pity on his people.

If you go to a Catholic Mass today that read­ing from the book of Joel Chap­ter 2 verses 1218 is the first scrip­ture you’ll hear and it emphases one of the most impor­tant themes of Chris­tian­ity and that’s this:

It doesn’t mat­ter how bad your sins have been, how far down the path you’ve gone or what any per­son thinks of you and your sins. Even now at this very moment God will for­give and for­get if you sin­cerely repent your sins.

Will the path be easy? Prob­a­bly not, the other side is not going to let you go all that easy, and in mod­ern soci­ety if you choose to turn to Christ with­out a ques­tion the Joy Behars of the world will ridicule you.

But in terms of eter­nity it pays div­i­dends that the world doesn’t offer.

Lent is a time for repen­tance but in truth the time to take the first step in the right direc­tion is always NOW!

Today is Ash Wednesday and that means that one of my favorite passages in scripture is going to be highlighted:

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,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

If you go to a Catholic Mass today that reading from the book of Joel Chapter  2 verses 12-18 is the first scripture you’ll hear and it emphases one of the most important themes of Christianity and that’s this:

It doesn’t matter how bad your sins have been, how far down the path you’ve gone or what any person thinks of you and your sins. Even now at this very moment God will forgive and forget if you sincerely repent your sins.

Will the path be easy? Probably not, the other side is not going to let you go all that easy, and in modern society if you choose to turn to Christ without a question the Joy Behars of the world will ridicule you.

But in terms of eternity it pays dividends that the world doesn’t offer.

Lent is a time for repentance but in truth the time to take the first step in the right direction is always NOW!