URC Daily Devotion  26th February 2020

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Wednesday 26th February Ash Wednesday

I Corinthians 15 

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection’, it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour? I die every day! That is as certain, brothers and sisters, as my boasting of you—a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord.  If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,

‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’

Do not be deceived:

‘Bad company ruins good morals.’

Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

Reflection

Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten journey. We think about what it means to be penitent, to live in the wilderness and to be mindful of all that gets in the way of our relationship with God. 

‘Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more’

Lent is opportunity to think about the wrong that we cause through our thoughts and actions. It’s the time when we can think about what we do to our relationships when we do and say things to others. It’s the time when we catch ourselves in our actions that do not honour our neighbours or ourselves. 

‘Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more’

Lent is time to look into our hearts and minds and consider what makes us think, speak or act in certain ways. It’s the catalyst for introspection about what our churches say and do that do not bring life to the world and community. It’s the opportunity to reflect on all the ways that we restrict the spreading of the gospel and the furthering of the kingdom. 

‘Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more’

Lent is activity towards transformation. It’s the journey to death. It’s the journey to resurrection. It’s the transformation from darkness and sin to everlasting light and eternal glory. 

We start this journey with Ash, a symbol of the journey of death transformed by the cross to new life in Christ. 
 
Prayer

In our journey this Lent: may we sin no more.
Considering our desires: may we sin no more.
Reflecting on our motivations: may we sin no more.
Transforming our words and actions: may we sin no more.
From ash to Cross may we be made new and may we sin no more. Amen

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Dr Matthew Prevett is the Chaplaincy Coordinator at Newcastle University

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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