Greetings to the Beloved,
What interesting bookmarks we have for our holy days of Ash Wednesday and Easter. Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day and Easter falls on April Fool’s Day. We have been given a rare opportunity to converse with our neighbors about our faith as we make connections between these days.
The bible verse that has framed our discussion for adult forum on apologetics has come to mind.
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
1 Peter 3:15b-16a.
So be ready with gentleness and reverence to converse about these days. Your voice is important. What will you have to say when the conversation presents itself?
The day we gather together and receive the ash cross on our forehead, remembering we are dust and to dust we shall return is the day our society will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with displays of love in the form of cards, candies and flowers. What will you say?
When I am marked with the ash cross on my forehead, I remember who I am. I remember my mortality. I am dust and to dust I shall return. I also remember my origin, where I came from, created by God, in the image of God and I remember the cross that I received on my forehead marking me as a child of God.
Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.
And I know that because of Jesus, through the cross, I am God’s. That’s where I started and that’s where I will go and that is where I am now. You understand this. You who have been steeped in the gospel and feed at Jesus’ table, know this. How do I translate this into the language of the world?
The day I remember that I will not last forever is the day I remember God’s valentine sent to me through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. It needs some work but I trust that the Holy Spirit will help me and give me opportunity to witness the love that I have received from God. God doesn’t wait for a day, like Valentine’s Day but everyday loves me, fully and wholly, just as I am.
This is my prayer for you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to be ready, to find the words or actions that will give you the opportunity to witness to the hope that is in you in the community where you live on Valentine’s Day and every day. Start with God’s love for you.
Believing It Boldly Loving Everyday,
Pastor Connie Spitzack