Psalm 103:8-14 NRSV
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.
Observing the Lenten season is something I never experienced as a child or as a young adult. For as long as I can remember, I attended church and Sunday school every week as an important part of my family routine. I do remember friends referring to “giving up” something for Lent. But, at my church, there never was an Ash Wednesday or Maundy Thursday service.
It was well into my adult life when I joined a church of another denomination that I first began to learn about and appreciate the observances of the Lenten season. That was also when the God of love, the God of compassion and forgiveness, and the God of redemption became more important than the God of condemnation and punishment.
I am so thankful to have gotten to know the God of all creation, who was willing to send his son, Jesus, to show us how to live and how to love, and was willing to suffer and die so that we might celebrate His Easter resurrection.
Prayer: God of love, thank you for allowing us to learn and grow in your love, and help us share your love through all we do. Amen.