Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday, A Day of Prayer and Fasting

Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is traditionally the first day of Lent, usually forty weekdays of fasting and the Sundays prior to Easter Sunday. If you have not been around church much, you know the season more by the excesses of Mardi Gras, or, Fat Tuesday, the last binge before the Lenten fast. Spiritual bulimia at its worst.

We do not observe Lent as Legacy Church, but we are aware of those seasons of the Big C Church that aid us in our spiritual growth. Lent is one of those seasons because it is designed to prepare our hearts for Holy Week,  Jesus' suffering and death, and Easter, Jesus' resurrection, through the spiritual practice of fasting. Usually, one chooses something in his or her life to abstain from in order to identify with the suffering of Jesus.

Last year, for example, I chose to eat Gluten-free in order to identify with a friend and those who must adjust their diets because of celiac disease. It was a hassle, but each choice reminded me of my friend's hassles and how Jesus set aside his life comforts in order to "give his life as a ransom for many."

We have invited those on mission with Legacy to observe Ash Wednesday as a Day of Prayer and Fasting this year. On this day, we invite people to fast for four, eight, twelve or twenty-four hours. In the hours of fasting, we fill those moments normally stuffed with food instead with the Word of God or the fellowship of other Christians. Join us if you like.

We are currently reading through the Gospel of Luke as a church. (If you would like to follow the reading plan, you can go here.)

Our reading for Ash Wednesday, February 22, is Luke 5:1-11. Read the passage of Jesus' calling of the first disciples.

Meditate on Peter's confession: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v. 8) Make that your confession as you enter your time of prayer.

Jesus called Peter, James, and John, to be his disciples. Luke tells us they "left everything and followed him." (v. 11) His call was absolute on their lives.

Jesus has called you to follow him in faith as his disciple-apprentice. Will you leave everything and follow him. What will you leave in order to follow Jesus? (The answer can be part of your observance of the Lenten fast.)


May Ash Wednesday this year be the beginning of a deeper fellowship with God and others as you identify with the suffering, sacrificial love of Jesus.

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