Ash Wednesday, healing, and love.


Mark 2: 17 "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


Ash Wednesday celebrated this year on 14 February (which also is Valentine’s Day) is about entering a season of focussed spiritual growth and of a time of preparation that will lead to victory and much love in the Lord. It is essential to everyone who desires to grow in the Lord. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, and everything we do during Lent prepares us to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, and for the rest of our lives.


Ash Wednesday is the day when the journey towards Easter begins. Ash Wednesday is, in the words of Mark 2: 17, the realization that we “need a doctor” and coming to Jesus to be healed.
You do not seek healing, without admitting that you are sick. You do not repent humbly, without admitting that sin has a corrupting impact on your life and your relationship with God. And you will hardly understand the full depth of the joy about Jesus who rose and was victorious, without calculating the cost in terms of his suffering, death, and burial.


Ash Wednesday is helpful in preparing for Easter, because it encourages mourning our weakness of the past, accepting the challenge of living for God today, and finding hope and love in Christ for tomorrow.


Mourning our weakness
To mark his sadness, Job covered himself in ashes. Jesus reminds us that true regret includes sackcloth and ashes. Psalm 51 reminds us that all our sins are committed against God! We need to get right with God, to live contently in a relationship with him. We need to come before God in sackcloth and ashes!


Accepting the challenge to live for God today.
When Jesus challenged his listeners to consider the truth that those who are healthy do not need a doctor, he was asking each one of them to examine themselves and stop denying that they suffer from the “sin-illness”. Only when we acknowledge our sin can we receive forgiveness. And only through forgiveness do we make our peace with the Lord and fully learn how much he loves us.


Ash Wednesday is an opportunity to examine our need for Jesus anew and to start living as people who are every day dependent on their Redeemer.


Finding hope for a new future
Ash Wednesday begins a journey called Lent and our destination is Easter Sunday. And Easter Sunday is all about hope for the future. The message of Easter is that Jesus is risen! And it means that we can live a new life after rising from the grave of sin. And it means that even when we die, we will live in Christ forever. I Corinthians 15: 20 says, "Christ has indeed risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep."

This is an assurance that we too will be resurrected. His eternal life promises ours and that we may live of the fruit of his life, even now. We find hope to overcome the burden, spiritual death, which is the result of sin.


Celebrate “forgiveness” and “love” with God’s people during this season. Stop denying that you have the “sin-illness” and come to the divine Doctor for help, healing, and love!