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Lent: A Season of New Beginnings!

– Amanda Watson

Lent has a bad rep. Lent, a time to give up something we love—like chocolate! Or anything sweet! Or a time to take on a project—like reading a book or looking deep within all those poor or questionable things done or said. Okay, yes difficult but the question becomes why? Read the first prayer or the collect for the Ash Wednesday liturgy, page 264 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Good news, we have an “almighty and everlasting God”—our God is all-powerful and eternal. AND our almighty God hates nothing that God has made AND forgives the sins of all who are penitent. Hates nothing God has made—hey that’s us—we were made by God in the image of God! ME! Warts and all! AND our God forgives the sins of all who are penitent. So, now think about this, recognizing all those times that we are less than God has called us to be, those times that we have separated ourselves from God,

or those times that we did not do the “work” that God had sent us out to do to “love and serve as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord,” God forgives our sins!!

God forgives our “wretchedness.” We can ask God to create and make in us new and contrite hearts. Lifting all our “wretchedness” to almighty God we can stand before God that we may obtain perfect remission and forgiveness through God’s mercy received through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We can wallow in our regret, we can feel sorry for ourselves, we can lament our unworthiness; Or we can trust our almighty and everlasting God. God Can Forgive! God can create new and contrite hearts. That’s correct, you heard it: God can create new and contrite hearts. Through God’s mercy, we can obtain perfect remission and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord. Contrite hearts that acknowledge that “we

are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table, but thou art the same Lord whose property is ALWAYS to have mercy.” Contrite hearts can receive forgiveness of sins. Lent is that time when rather than wallowing in regret we recognize our shortcomings those times when we have ignored those in need, have hurt others with our words, have shown disdain for those not like us, so rather than wallowin regret, “worthily lament and acknowledge and offer these our most grievous misgivings to the God who cannot and does not hate all that God created, to the God who accepts our wretchedness and gives perfect remission and forgiveness. Lent is not a time to wallow and rue all that we are, but to offer our recognition of our wretchedness to God who loved us so much that this God became human —to live and die as one

of us--that we might have forgiveness and to reveal in all God’s majesty that love that chose to die that we might have new and contrite hearts.

Lent is a time to open our hearts and to seek and find the almighty and everlasting God who first loved us! Thanks be to God!


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