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Lenten Reflections: Ash Wednesday, a Time of Hope

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Painting: Access to Grace, by Robin Stephenson

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during Lent, we offer reflections from Bread staff and others who faithfully work to end hunger.

Lectionary readings (from the Revised Common Lectionary):
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12
Psalms 51:1-17
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

“The cross is a powerful symbol of God’s deep and abiding love for us. Jesus became flesh to offer a divine, selfless love to restore all things broken. His life, death, and resurrection invite us into a relationship with God, and to live our lives with a love that reconciles and transforms all things.”

This quote comes from this year’s Offering of Letters kit, but I think it also serves as a great introduction to this year’s Bread Blog lenten reflection series. These are difficult times when a “love that reconciles and transforms all things” does not seem imminent.

Currently the world is watching the worst humanitarian crisis unfold in the Horn of Africa. Congress is getting some of its lowest approval ratings and the ongoing conversations about the budget have terrifying implications for people living in poverty throughout the world. Unemployment and underemployment continue to be major causes of concern for families throughout the United States.

And yet people at Bread for the World are hopeful. Why? Because this is when our Christian foundation can inspire us to take action and perhaps even more importantly imagine another reality.  Because we -- Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, non-denominational Christians, etc. -- are people of a story, and we know that Easter is coming.

For this reason, I’ve decided that my Lenten fast will be one of simplicity and of reflection; a time to be present with people in the struggles that are all too real today, but also to imagine and to be a part of the promise of Easter. In the coming days, I invite you to join me and others as we consider what it means to “live our lives with a love that reconciles and transforms all things.”

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent, we offer reflections from Bread staff and others who faithfully work to end hunger. On Sundays, you will see excerpts from Bread’s “Lenten Prayers for Hungry People” table tents. Additionally, each day we’ll include the recommended readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).*

As you journey through these 40 days, we encourage you to interact with the content and share your thoughts with others by commenting on the day’s posting.

*The RCL is a tool that many churches use to guide them through the liturgical year and to ensure that a variety of biblical voices are heard throughout the year. We understand that this is not a tool everyone uses, and that the RCL is different from the Catholic Lectionary. Each year we will do our best to represent and honor all of the traditions represented at Bread for the World.

Sarah-rohrerSarah Rohrer is northeast regional organizer for Bread for the World.

 


 

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