Devotions from Judy’s heart

Today is the first day of Lent early this morning I read from Ruth Barton’s e-mail and wanted to share a few of her quotes with you.

“Yet even now, says the Lord, repent and return to me with all your heart.” –Joel 2:13  

Today is Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season. Ash Wednesday ushers us into a space in time in which we engage very intentionally into the disciplines of prayer, self-examination and repentance. But these disciplines—as significant as they are—are not ends in themselves. They are a means to an end and that end is that we would return to God with all our hearts….

 Lenten disciplines help us to abstain from the daily distractions that prevent us from seeing and naming reality correctly. As we allow some of the external trappings of our lives to be stripped away, we can return to a truer sense of ourselves and a deeper pursuit of God. We acknowledge the subtle temptations to which we are prone rather than pretending that we are beyond temptation…

The disciplines of fasting and other kinds of abstinence help us to abstain from that which distracts us and numbs our awareness so that we can become more finely attuned to what is going on in our lives spiritually-speaking. We allow ourselves to experience the necessary grief that leads to repentance and we ask God to lead us in a new and everlasting way.”

I like to give up something for Lent but it is not to be an end in itself as Ruth shares. Let begin this Lenten season returning to the Lord with all our hearts.