“Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
Romans 2: 1-3 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. 2 You say,“We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” 3 Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of focus for Christians on spiritual practices and disciplines. In the Bible the letter to the Romans tells us that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. God’s goodness to us is meant to call us to turn back toward God and to choose God’s intentions for our lives. God wants it to be clear that the context and community that God is calling us into is a community of love and grace.
I notice it is always easier for couples to practice the work of apology and forgiveness when they have the prior experience of receiving kindness from their partner. As we on this day practice turning toward God let us examine who around us in relationship we might invite into community by proactively creating a climate of kindness.
“Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. Thank you for the way, the truth , and the life, made known to is in Jesus Christ.
Merciful God, please forgive my sins as I seek to forgive those who have sinned against me. Pour out the mercy you have revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Help me to love you O Lord, with all my heart, soul and mind, and teach me how to love my neighbor as myself. Creator, I lift my heart in gratitude for the blessings so generously poured out from your creation and providence. Hear my prayer for these specific friends, those in need, and this hurting world. (Silence is kept as specific names and places are lifted up).
You are my Shepherd, Loving God, so I give you my worries, challenges, needs, and ask you to guide me as I walk forward. Take the hours in my life ahead and lead me to use them in ways that fulfill your purposes and intentions.
I lift up before you the poor, the hungry, the sick, the grieving, the oppressed, the discouraged, those working for justice and peace, and all those you love.
I pray as Jesus taught us saying; “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever, Amen.”
Rev. John DeBevoise