THURSDAY (February 18, 2021)
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20–21)
““Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?” (Joel 2:12–14)
How is it that we are able to “return to God”? How is it that we are able to repent? We are able to return to God with all our heart, not because we have such great will, but because of God’s grace, mercy and steadfast love. Fasting, weeping, mourning and rending our hearts are a stripping down—a giving up of our self-protective certainties which only serve to distract us from our true selves. Coming before God naked and exposed, we show that our true strength lies not in ourselves, but in the One who created us.
Prayer for Holy Cross Member
Show your grace to Brent this day, as he goes about the callings you have given to him. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of the Week (from Ash Wednesday)
Almighty and everlasting God, You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts that lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness we may receive from You full pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.