Feb 14 Ash Wednesday Daily Rhythm
If you can, please try to join us this evening at 6PM for our Ash Wednesday Service
“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
God, we confess to you that often when we come before you we are like self interested children. We focus on our needs and wants and choose to neglect your glory and the hope you offer through us to our neighbors. We are often self centered and short sighted. Remind us today that we live for something greater than ourselves. During this season of Lent help us to keep in mind the words of Isaiah that we have “unclean lips and we live among people of unclean lips.” We are dust, only held together now and eternally by your grace. Cause us to lean on your grace and to trust in your promises as we strive for your glory in our community.”
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Oh God forgive us that we so often forget that you call us into mission in the world. We are a people who live for temporary comforts and entertainments. We live to fill our stomachs with things that satisfy for a few hours and our souls with things that only hurt us. Help us to live more for your glory and the purpose for which you have made us. Help our light to break forth because it is true light shining on your glory for the sake of the world you are restoring.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
God so often our desires are not satisfied because our desires are not ordered well. Our desires are for ourselves, but we are not terribly satisfying. We are not enough to satisfy. Help us to order our desires after you. To live for the enjoyment only you can offer. Help us to be people whose desires are met because our desires are after the things that will satisfy, the things of the kingdom.