Today is the traditional start of the season of Lent – Ash Wednesday. It is the time when the church traditionally has remembered the root of the need for the Easter story. It is the day that we recognise the truth that still exists in our newspaper columns and Facebook feeds, that death comes to all of us. On this day we repeat the simple truth to one another: ‘we are dust and to dust we shall return’. These words emerge from the root of all death, the narrative of the beginning of sin in Genesis 3. Traditionally, on this Wednesday we have placed the mark of the cross on each other’s foreheads with ash, this sooty mark acting as a reminder of this truth. The truth that because of sin, we face death. Not that the specific death of an individual emerges from specific sin, but rather that death emerges from the general presence of sin, that great break in the wholeness of life and relationship that God intended for His creation. The fact that this mark is made in the shape of a cross is significant for the 40-day journey of reflection and repentance that we are beginning. The dusty ash of the cross mark symbolises that although death, brokenness and sin are the apparent reality of our present age, something has occurred that causes that recognition of death’s presence to be something less than dismal. It reminds us that it’s apparent power has been defeated in the actions of Jesus, who alone has the power to transform that reality. This is the journey we are now on, the journey of looking to Jesus – to his person, his presence, his action – asking him to transform that in our lives which now speaks of the present power of death, and to pull it into the resurrection power that will bookend our 40 days of Lent. Do you have some spaces in your life that you long to see Jesus transform? Or if not yours, then in the life of your whānau or community? Can I invite you to consider taking up one of the practices we talked about on Sunday for the next 40 days – to give up something (FASTING), to delve into who Jesus is (READ) or to commit to sharing with someone the areas you want Jesus to transform in you (CONFESSION)? Better still, commit to walking this journey with others in our church whānau. Find a friend, or if you aren’t connected to a life group or some other group in the life of the church, join one of our six-week Lent small groups that are beginning next week. (click the link below to sign up). whkbaptist.infoodle.com/f/LentSmallGroups Let’s do this journey of asking Jesus to transform the bits in our lives that need to change, but which we have become despondent about or just comfortable with, into the fullness of what He wants for us. ... See MoreSee Less
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Looking forward to this tomorrow night! ... See MoreSee Less
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