Sunday, February 19, 2017

Longing for Lent: Marked by the Cross on Ash Wednesday


By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
            -Genesis 3:19
Ash Wednesday falls on March 1 this year. It marks the beginning of Lent, that forty plus days set aside by the church for nearly two millennia as a time to dedicate ourselves afresh to God.
If you have never been to an Ash Wednesday service, it is a powerful experience. Each person goes forward to receive the sign of the cross in black ashes on his or her forehead. Young and old, men and women, clergy and lay, all receive the ashes. We all stand on level ground before the foot of the cross and the realization of our mortality.
Often the words of Genesis 3:19 are spoken as we receive the ashes. It is quite sobering! I have come from the dust and ashes of the ground, and in due time I will return.
Such a stark reality begs the question: How am I living my days here on earth? Am I telling those around me just how much I love them? Am I pursuing the Lord with my whole heart? How do I need to number my days? What needs to change in my life? Psalm 90:3, 12 states:
You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
. . .
Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Ash Wednesday is a tremendous teaching tool. As we hear those words and have ash smeared on our foreheads, it is humbling, it is instructive. It brings a renewed sobriety that sets the stage for Lent. If you have never participated in Ash Wednesday or Lent, I encourage you to do so. I welcome you to a wonderful encounter with the Almighty.
This year I am longing for Lent more than I can ever remember. I cannot wait for this season of seeking God to begin in earnest. I want the Lord to search me and try me, removing any wrong way—and lukewarm way—in my life. In the depths of my soul, I am aching for Ash Wednesday to usher in this powerful season of Lent. I am yearning for God to bring fresh transformation to my life!

© 2016 Glenn E. Myers

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cascading Light, Fountain of Life, River of Delight

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.
                        -Psalm 36:7-9

God’s light cascades down without ceasing to our physical world. God’s life showers down as a fountain from our Creator’s presence to earth! Without divine light and life, we could see nothing. However, in the Almighty’s light, we see light!

Catching Glimpses of God's Glory
For the past number of years I have practiced catching glimpses of God's glory throughout the day. Perhaps the morning sky displays God's splendor as I drive to work in the morning, or maybe a glint of sunshine on the pond outside my office reflects the Lord's glory. Such glimmerings of light are but a refraction of divine light and resplendence. They offer us a window through which I may see--if I am attentive--a peek of uncreated Light and Glory that cascades down through creation. 

To catch such a glimpse of God's glory can turn our whole day around. 

Not only do we catch a glimpse of divine glory, we must respond. Like a cosmic game of "pitch and catch" with our Heavenly Father, he sends us glory and we send back praise. 

2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”