Joel 2:12-13 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. 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.” (NIV)

The somber season of Lent starts today with Ash Wednesday. Millions of Christians throughout the world will go to their local churches to either have a priest mark a cross on their forehead with ashes or they will drive by the church to pick up a packet with a prayer card and some ashes in a small bag.

I must admit, I’ve never done the ashes thing because of my Reformed point of view, but I can see how a sacred moment of reflecting on human mortality may make people more aware of their own frailty and draw them closer to their need of God. During this time of pandemic, it will probably have a deeper meaning, especially for anyone who has lost a loved one to Covid-19.

So, although I do not practice this myself, I pray for every blessing of meaningful connection to God to be given to all who seek something sacred today – which is exactly what the whole season of Lent is all about.

Q: How can I deepen my connection to God today?

Prayer: Lord God, be with Your people all over the world who seek a meaningful experience today. Bless them as pilgrims and help us all to be co-travelers with them. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.