14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
As we place ashes on the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday, we offer these words from scripture (King James version): “repent and believe the gospel.” I always try to follow that with my own words: “know that God loves you.” For me, knowing that God’s loving grace has and will surround me forever is what makes repentance both desirable and possible.
Today’s reading from the Common English Bible translates this phrase as “change your hearts and lives, and trust the good news.” We need God’s help to change our hearts and lives. That’s why the first step in the Twelve Step programs all begin with some version of realizing we are powerless without the help of God. Lent is that time when we as individuals all admit we are not in control. It’s a time when we remember that even Jesus knew he was not on his journey on earth alone. We all need to admit that we need the “Higher Power” that resides within the kingdom of God. The good news is that change is always possible, that God is still creating, that Jesus shows us the way, and that the Holy Spirit will lead us. And God provides us with communities to help and support us through the changes we need to make. The promise of change is the hope that carries us through Lent as we journey toward Resurrection Sunday.
By Kathleen Stolz
For Pondering & Prayer
Jesus prayed to “OUR Father” not to “My Father.” You have brothers and sisters in the faith to lean on. Who is your support community that will help you to change?
May God give you courage and strength for making the change in your heart and in your life that you need to make to become more fully the child of God you were created to be. Amen!