“See again that God loves us, God nurtures us, and God forgives us.” A message for Ash Wednesday and Lent from Bishop Duncan-Probe.

 In Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe, Featured

Each of us falls short. Each of us fails. Sometimes we’re just not that great! So we need the opportunity to change our minds and to see again that God loves us, that God nurtures us, and that God forgives us. The things we have done wrong are held in God’s mercy and grace. And the things that we’re able to do right are empowered by that same mercy and grace.

Watch above: Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York offers a reflection for Ash Wednesday and Lent 2019. A transcript follows, below.

This Lent, how will you draw closer to the God who created you, redeemed you, and loves you? Tell us in the comments, or if you need some ideas for a Lenten practice, please visit our Lent resources and ideas.


Transcript

“Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” These words begin our journey through Lent and to the Easter season. It would easy for us to hear these words as a fatalistic word of hopeless. “What does it matter anyway? We’re just going to die.” But instead these words carry our greatest hope, which is that we have been created by a God who is eternal, that each of us is a beloved child of God with a deep and rich connection with all other living things.

In this Lenten season, we practice prayer, alms-giving, and fasting as a way of drawing closer to our deepest meaning in life. We practice these disciplines so that this one short life will have vast meaning for ourselves and for the whole of God’s world.

Each of us has an opportunity this Lent to start over. (If you’re a golfer, to have a mulligan.) Each of us has an opportunity to begin again and practice living with greater intention. To look at all of those things on our to-do list and all of those things that clutter our lives; to stop for a moment and say, “What is the greatest value of my life? What is the purpose or intention I’m not living? How might I make today matter, not only for me, but for all of those around me?”

How often do we have this opportunity to stop and say, “What makes my life matter is not the things that I do but the things God does within me, that I’m created, redeemed, and have an opportunity to live again.”

Each of us falls short. Each of us fails. Sometimes we’re just not that great! So we need the opportunity to change our minds and to see again that God loves us, that God nurtures us, and that God forgives us. The things we have done wrong are held in God’s mercy and grace. And the things that we’re able to do right are empowered by that same mercy and grace.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

My dear friends, this Lent I pray that your practice, whatever it may be, will draw you closer to the God who’s created you, redeemed you, and loves you still. Whatever you may decide to do with your Lent, I pray that at the end of it you will find yourself with a greater understanding of your purpose in your life. I pray that your moment in this time will have greater meaning, and hope, and love—not only for you, but for our world.

May we live the love of Jesus not just with our words but actively in our lives: praying, giving alms, fasting, being forgiven, forgiving, serving, and loving.

Blessings to you in this holy season.

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Comments
  • Kira Dirghalli

    Your words are powerful guided by the Holy Spirit. I pray that these words will also empower you and give you strength during this Holy Season of Lent.

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The body of Christ, the bread of heaven. Photo by Sue Cenci.