Hope to Carry On: February 14, 2024 (Ash Wednesday)

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, ’In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2

I usually love Lent and Ash Wednesday, but I am having a really hard time getting excited about them this year. As I am writing this reflection in late January, Lent feels more like an imposition than a season of spiritual preparation. Eating, for example, is already hard enough for me with food sensitivities, and the thought of having to restrict it even further on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent (as is the practice of most of my friends) is not making me happy. Giving something up for Lent this year? Yeah, not happening. I’m already suffering enough with other things going on in my life. Taking something else on? Lord, I’m busy enough as it is!

It is probably a good thing that Lent is not about me. It is about growing close to Jesus, and that is a journey. There are going to be days when I make progress on that journey, and there are going to be other times when I feel like I cannot take another step. Today is the day of salvation because today we take that first step on that journey toward God. It might be just one step, or it might be a mile on the journey, and it gives me hope that God gives us credit for making progress on the journey no matter how small that distance is.

Lord, please help me to remember that you meet us where we are, not where we “should” be. Amen.
–Jen McCabe