Guest Post: Rambling Candor on Ash Wedensday

From time to time, an online friend, fellow Christ-follower, and Mets fan, named Adam Roberson will send me an email about something that God has put on his heart.  I asked him if I could share this one with you.  I think he should have his own blog to share these things! See if you don’t agree:

And now, more Rambling Candor…

Today, February 25th, 2009 is a pretty significant day. Yes, Tiger Woods has finally returned to competition and the TV Golf Ratings will quadruple. And, yes, Baseball’s Spring Training is now in full swing (intentional pun). But the Wide World of Sports is not what I am talking about.

Today is Ash Wednesday. In brief, today is the first day of Lent marking the beginning of the 40 Days (not counting Sundays) before Easter. The marking of Ashes on the forehead in the sign of the cross is a symbol of our repentance. “From Dust we are made and to Dust we will return.” These practices are typically, but not always, observed in Protestant Denominations.

Lent is a season of the Penitent Man. Again, it is a Season to focus on God through our repentance, meditation and prayer. It prepares us for Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday, which is, of course, the very foundation of Truth. That is, Christ conquered death. He paid the penalty for my sins and yours.

I hear people sometimes inadvertently use this season as a punch line when claiming to give up chocolate or TV or red meat. In other cases, some choose to fast one meal a day. Others, choose other areas of their life to sacrifice. If we are starting our 40 day journey to the cross in a penitent manner, our Lenten Season should be helping us maintain focus on God and what Christ has done for the world. How do we do this?

If we choose to sacrifice an hour of sleep in the morning, we devote that extra hour of the day to God through prayer, meditation and study. If we choose to turn the TV off every evening, we devote that still quiet to God by opening His word. If we choose to fast a meal or snack (lunch, candy, coffee), when we are tempted by the hunger and cravings for such things, use those hunger pains to remind us of Christ Suffering on the Cross and His Gift of Salvation to the World.

The point is denying our Self-Righteousness, becoming Penitent, and focusing on God. This journey to the cross reminds us we are sinful, we are human and we are lost without Him. At the Cross, we find Redemption. At the Cross, we find Salvation. At the Cross, we find Truth. At the Cross, we find Love. Christ died on that Cross to pay the punishment for our Sins. He conquered and defeated sin and death three days later when He walked out of His tomb.

If you don’t traditionally observe Ash Wednesday, Lent or Holy Week, please take this time to recognize what God has done for you and me. Observing these practices ARE NOT required for Salvation. They are simply actions some of us take to remind us what Christ has done for us and why we need Him. Just as Christmas is recognition of Emmanuel; God with Us; the Birth of God in Human Form.

God Bless.
Adam

THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

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