Ash Wednesday is that time during the Christian Calendar when we enter into a period of introspective self examination. It is the beginning of a 40 day journey of repentance, reflection, and a clarion call to "return" to a more intentional and committed relationship with ...God. The challenge of the Prophet Joel's short book is to repent, rend hearts and not clothing and return to God. He cites a plague of locusts that had ravaged the land of Judah. Both the human community and the natural world were affected by the catastrophic devastation left in its wake. The locusts were a wake up call. God was calling the people to repent of the public and private sins that held them captive. Spiritual playtime was over and it was a moment in time to get down to serious business. Just like the people of Judah, God is calling each one of us during the Lenten season to choose to live the faith we profess with integrity and hope. Is it easy? Absolutely not! Is it possible? Yes! It is possible by the grace and mercy of God! Joel means "Yahweh is God." That's the reason we can do it, because Yahweh is in charge and walking with us every step of the way. When we return without hesitation or reservation, and make that 360 degree turn back to the Sovereign One, God uses our lives to impact the world. In this season of penitence, fast to focus the body and mind on God; pray to experience the depth of God's power; and be still to hear the voice of the One who knows you and calls you by name!
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