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Lenten Devotional – Day 1 – Ash Wednesday – Joy–A Perfect Fit

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10–18

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

There was an electric anticipation in the arena. Small groups scanned entryways, waving to family and friends. Young ladies in white gowns clustered tightly, smiling into each other’s cell phones. Young men wearing dark green robes stood in line; adjusting ties, caps, and tassels. As the procession began, I marveled at what I was about to witness.

This was my first High School graduation since my son’s death. Had he remained with us, my son would have marched with the Class of 2015.  The principal invited my husband and me to the ceremony. We couldn’t go.

Even after some years of grief, our memories and emotions remained too raw in 2015. Two years later, I watched a number of my son’s childhood friends cross the stage. As their names were read, both my eyes and smile widened. A welt of “Mom” pride and authentic joy grew from within. I truly felt “my cup running over.”

Society often requires us to wear special clothing for a variety of events.  As Christians, Paul suggests we include truth, righteousness, faith, peace, and salvation as part of our daily “wardrobe.” When everything “fits” we have opportunity to experience pure joy; elation, exultation, and rapture with God.

Prayer: God in Heaven, guide us this Lenten season to embrace the joy, which stems from the life and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Strengthen us with your love, so we can share the same devotion you have for us, with others. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

  – Kelly Desclos–Estes – South Boston, Virginia

 

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