Some thoughts for Ash Wednesday 2019
Joel Chapter 2. verses 1 – 2 and 12 - 171. Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—
2. a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was in ancient times
nor ever will be in ages to come.
12. “Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13. Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
14. Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the Lord your God.
15. Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.
16. Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”
Some thoughts on the text:-
The present situation
As the People of God and His witnesses in the world, it is good occasionally to take stock!
When did you last hear a sermon / address on “Holiness”?
The book of Joel was written when the spiritual life of the people of God was at a low ebb. Two dates are suggested by scholars, either 830 B.C. or 400 B.C. However, the portion appointed for Ash Wednesday is rightly a call to repentance and renewal: just as desperately needed now as it was then.
The crunch point!
The “bishops”, “priests”, “pastors”, “elders”, whatever you call your church leadership, have the prime responsibility. TO LEAD! Not just in things where there may be a “feel good factor” but in the spiritual life of the People of God.
Lent studies 2019
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