You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:18
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent on the Christian liturgical calendar. It is the forty days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Resurrection Day. For centuries, followers of Christ have used this time to draw closer to their Savior by practicing repentance, fasting, and meditating more in scripture.
Just as Jesus withdrew from the chaos around Him to spend time alone with the Father to prepare for what laid ahead of Him, we too can use this six weeks period of time to reflect and align up our life closer to our Lord and Savior. It takes effort on our part, but as our minds and hearts become more sensitive to the righteousness of God, we realize the freedom we have from sin's grasp on us.
Many people choose to discipline themself during these forty days by refraining from eating certain foods or by striving to break bad habits. The concept behind those practices is that by denying themself, they will be reminded each time of Jesus' sacrifice for them which led Him to the cross on their behalf for their sins. Christ endured suffering and death to free us from our sinful state and to become slaves of righteousness instead. Out of love for what He did, our lives should be lived in dedication to serve Him all our days.
Whatever you choose to do to observe this sacred period, offer it to God with a grateful heart. Remember that the price of your sin was paid for in full by Jesus to redeem you once and forever. Look forward and move towards Resurrection Day with genuine joy in your heart because the tomb was empty, and Jesus conqueered the grave to give you eternal life. Alleluia!
Written by: Lois Dahlstrom