Matthew 6:1 6, 16 21 (NRSV)
The practice of faith
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ...
"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the day in the Christian calendar when we pause to remember that "we are dust and to the dust we will return."
We take the mark of ashes upon our foreheads to remind us that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
During the next forty days, plus Sundays, until Easter, we will fast and pray, care for the needy, and give glory our Father in Heaven.
As we deny ourselves, we allow our Spirit to re-member what is truly important. I like to think that the word "re-member" means to pull things back together again or to become aware of something forgotten.
Let us find our treasure in Christ, dear ones! Today is the call to re-member, that God is our all and all.
May God bless your Lenten Journey to the cross with Jesus. Amen.
On this day of Ashes, I have completed my vow to publish this blog for three years. I praise God for all of you who have been reading and sharing Good News!
For the next forty days, I will be blogging as often as Spirit leads about my Lenten Journey to the cross with Jesus.
If you visit the blog and don't see a daily devotional, I invite you to search the archives. There are 1,260 entries that will bless your soul!
Alternatively, I invite you to visit one of my (s)heroes blogs, that of Bishop Vashti McKenzie. She will also have a Lenten devotional found at http://thisisyourwakeupcallonline.com/
Many of us will be fasting and praying together on this website.
Again, thank you for reading, sharing, and BEing good news! To GOD be the glory, great things GOD has done!