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Lenten Devotional – Day 1 – Ash Wednesday

jesus-our-hopeScripture Readings:  Amos 5:6-15Hebrews 12:1-14Luke 18:9-14

 “There is nothing sadder than a self-made man.” (or woman)

I grew up listening to old sayings like this one, and they surface in my mind at interesting times. This one flashed clearly upon my mind’s eye while reading today’s lesson, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”  “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

It is so very easy to forget whence we came and wither we go in the hustle and bustle of daily life. The Pharisee, in our Luke reading, had become so immersed in his role as a religious leader that he had lost touch with the reality of being human – created in God’s image, not an immortal deserving the blessings of his privileged life. His role in organized religion had blinded him to his need of the Grace of God.

The day to day nastiness of the Tax Collector’s trade never let him forget the huge gap between himself and Almighty God. He was blessed with the knowledge that only with the Grace of God could he hope to obtain the promises of heaven. Talk about a blessing in disguise!

Another old saying, “There but for the Grace of God go I,” seems to fit.

God be merciful to me, a sinner.




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